Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero understands the high standards at this club.
One of the most exciting players on the 2009 inaugural squad, Montero helped immediately elevate the Sounders to top tier status in Major League Soccer. His goals and assists in that first season propelled Seattle to the MLS Cup Playoffs as an expansion side, a feat the club has repeated in each of its 13 seasons.
After successful stints playing abroad in China and Portugal, as well as a few seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps in MLS, Montero returned home to Seattle ahead of the 2021 season. Now that he’s back where it all began, he’s eager to keep writing history with the Sounders.
“I’m proud to be a part of this organization,” he told SoundersFC.com at Starfire Sports this week. “I left and nothing changed, it’s the same winning mentality. Obviously, it’s going to take a lot to reach another final, but we have the group of players that requires an MLS team to get there.”
Beyond the heartwarming storyline of a fan favorite coming home, Montero has been a productive player in his time on the pitch this season. In addition to seven goals and three assists, the Colombian attacker is in the 97th percentile for progressive passes, 80th percentile for progressive carries, 94th percentile for tackles and 86th percentile for interceptions among MLS forwards on a per-90 basis.
The Sounders will have to wait until November 23 to face off against Real Salt Lake (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, FOX Deportes, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) in Round One of the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. With so much quality depth on the team, Montero believes the Sounders can use this time to raise their level heading into their 13th consecutive postseason.
“It will be an important for every single player to want to be part of that game,” added Montero. “The level of training will keep being high. The subs will need to guarantee that the team will be in the best condition for this game, and if we’re called to be part of the XI we will be ready. If not, we will be happy help the team any way we can, on and off the field.”
The Sounders ended the regular season on a tough run of results. But Montero’s confidence in this squad as they pursue their lofty objectives remains undeterred.
“I still have belief that we can go far,” he said. “I dream to be playing in a final for the Sounders. So, I’m going to do my best to keep pushing harder, to be part of this job.”
As a key member of the early Sounders squads that helped cement Seattle’s spot as one of the premier clubs in Major League Soccer, Montero’s second stint in Rave Green has felt like a full circle moment. For example, Sounders star attacker Jordan Morris attended the inaugural match back in 2009 and watched Montero score twice in a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls as a fan in the stands. Fast forward 13 years, Morris and Montero are now teammates as they push for a fifth trip to MLS Cup in the past six seasons.
“I followed his career when I was in Europe and he’s done very well for the club, for the [United States Men’s] National Team,” Montero said of Morris. “For me it’s an honor to play with a kid that came to one of those games and now he’s part of this club and has given a lot – titles and a lot of goals. He keeps improving and I’m happy to be playing next to him.”
Montero and the Sounders return to action on November 23 when they host Real Salt Lake in Round One of the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Get your tickets HERE.