Early this season, Fredy Montero was thrilled with the Sounders FC’s success, proud that the team had sent the supporters home happy on most nights.
However, he wasn’t completely fulfilled.
Six games into the 2012 MLS season, Seattle was 4-1-1. Montero was exuberant after games, smiling at the droves of media that would surround his teammates.
Inside, though, he knew that he had more to offer.
“I was happy because the team was winning games, but I always felt like I could do better,” Montero said. “At the end of the day, we were in good position.”
Once the calendar turned to May, he broke through and never looked back.
He scored his first goal of the season in a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy, winning MLSsoccer.com Goal of the Week honors for his majestic crack into the corner of the net from 35 yards out.
After notching four goals and three assists in the month, Montero looks to be back in the goal-scoring form that garnered attention in the MVP race late last season. His May output was matched only by 2011 MLS MVP and May’s MLS Player of the Month, Dwayne De Rosario.
The four goals he scored matches his top output for a month and he has only had three assists or more twice before. His only better individual month came when he had four goals and four assists in June of 2009.
“Once I scored the first one, the next was coming,” he said.
His two-goal performance against Cal FC last week in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup was also an encouraging sign that he may be able to continue his hot scoring form when the Sounders return after 20 days between MLS regular season games when Seattle takes on the expansion Montreal Impact on Saturday in their only meeting of the year.
“Any goal-scorer, when you get goals it helps your confidence. He’s done well in the Open Cup games he’s played in over the last two years, for sure,” Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid said. “Any time you can score goals in games like that is important for his confidence and also for the team’s confidence in him.”
Now, he is poised to be the first to reach 100 MLS regular season matches for the Sounders FC, a milestone he is set to reach on Saturday.
In addition, his next goal will mark his 50th across all competitions and he is two away from 40 MLS regular season goals.
While the individual successes are a source of pride for Montero, the badge under which he is reaching these accomplishments holds much more value than the feats themselves.
“I really care about this team,” he said. “Every year I’m here, I appreciate more the players, the team and obviously the fans. I really love playing in Seattle and hopefully I can do it for more years.”