TUCSON, Ariz. – When Fredy Montero came to Seattle in 2009 to play with Sounders FC in the club’s inaugural season, he dreamed of one day playing for Colombia in the World Cup and playing in Europe.
On Thursday, one of those goals was accomplished when Sounders FC completed the sale of the 26-year-old forward to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal after Montero played 20 matches across all competitions since his loan to the Portuguese Liga club started in the summer.
“First off, I’m very happy for Fredy,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “Fredy wanted an opportunity where he could go and try and get himself into a position to make the World Cup team. We tried to afford him that opportunity and now it turned out that he got an opportunity in Europe, which is something he always wanted as well.”
Montero played four seasons for Sounders FC and left on loan to Millonarios in his native Colombia as the club’s all-time leading scorer. After scoring the first goal in club history in the inaugural match in 2009, Montero went on to score 47 goals to go with 34 assists in 119 career MLS matches, tying with Mauro Rosales for the club’s all-time assist record.
In all competitions, Montero played 160 matches, compiling 60 goals and 43 assists, helping him earn the opportunity to play for Sporting Lisbon. In 20 matches for the Portuguese club, he has 19 goals across all competitions and is the club’s leading scorer in league play with 13 goals.
“I think it shows that our league can prepare players for that next step and that’s a real positive. I’m just really happy for Fredy,” Schmid said. “This is something that was a dream of his, to step into a European league and do well at that level of competition. I think it’s a great honor for our club.”
Montero originally joined Sounders FC on loan from Deportivo Cali in 2009 and was named MLS Newcomer of the year after notching 11 goals.
"Sounders was my first experience out of my country. I love the Sounders and they will always mean a lot to me," said Montero. "On and off of the field I got the opportunity to grow as a player and as a person and I loved it. That's why Seattle is going to forever be my second home. I am blessed. I want to keep improving myself and one day I will be back to raise my family and hopefully be back on the field."