Fredy Montero showed Major League Soccer why he is one of the league’s top goal scorers on Saturday night with his hat trick in Seattle’s 6-2 win over Chivas USA. The three-goal output was the first of the crafty Colombian striker’s young MLS career, and he became just the fourth player in club history to accomplish the feat.
The impressive performance adds to an already stellar month of August for Montero where he has scored six goals in four games, marking the best four-game scoring stretch of his career. Montero has now scored 10 career goals in the month of August, his most productive month behind May, June and July (seven goals).
“He’s playing well,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “He’s very sharp right now and very confident and obviously that’s a good thing for our team.”
With the three tallies, Montero now shares the team lead with Eddie Johnson with 11 goals, ranking fourth in MLS. Only two other teams (San Jose Earthquakes and New York Red Bulls) have two players ranked in the top 10 of the Golden Boot race.
“It is a good moment for me in my career with the Sounders,” said Montero. “Now I want to keep scoring more goals. At the end of the day, I’m happy that the team played well.”
Montero is making the case as one of the league’s most prolific goal scorers. He has scored 45 goals since joining MLS in 2009, the third-most behind Chris Wondolowski (57) and Dwayne De Rosario (48). His 45 goals ranks 14th among active players, and he became just the seventh player in MLS history to score 10-plus goals in his first four seasons. Juan Pablo Angel was the last to do it in 2007-10.
Montero also knows when to score as he consistently nets big goals at important moments. He netted the eventual winner against Chivas USA last night, and also regained Seattle’s two-goal lead shortly after the Rojiblancos cut the lead to one goal. Of Montero’s 45 goals, 41 have come in wins (33) or draws (eight). Overall, he has 16 game-winning goals, which ranks ninth among active players.
The hat trick was just the sixth in MLS this season, and Seattle is the only team to have two players net three goals as David Estrada did it in the season opener.
“I’m just happy to keep it up,” said Montero. “We know that it is not the end. We have nine more games where we have to make as many plays as we can. We have a really good team. We have players who are ready for the opportunity to come in and perform well.”
With the team’s six-goal output on Saturday, Sounders FC moved into fifth in MLS scoring, averaging 1.64 goals per game, which is on track with last year’s league-leading 1.65 goals per game. Seattle also improved to a league-best 12-0-1 when scoring first this season.
Montero and the rest of the Seattle squad will spend two days in Seattle before leaving for Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday morning for Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Caledonia. Sounders FC will stay on the road to visit FC Dallas on Sunday in the team’s next league contest.
“We are ready,” said Montero. “Obviously it’s not going to be easy. But we are here.”