The Portland Timbers have to have had just about enough of Fredy Montero. The Colombian forward, who returned to the Seattle Sounders this season after departing in 2012, scored the match-winner as a second-half substitute on Sunday in a 2-1 win at Providence Park.
The goal was Montero’s seventh MLS regular-season goal all time against Portland, including his fifth with Seattle. He also bagged two for fellow Cascadia rival the Vancouver Whitecaps where he spent three of the last four seasons.
“We’ve had Clint Dempsey, we’ve had Fredy Montero, now we have Raúl [Ruidíaz],” said Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “We’ve got guys who are Portland killers. Fredy coming back and scoring that goal was tremendous.”
Schmetzer was an assistant coach during Montero’s initial spell with the Sounders from 2009-12, where he scored the club’s first MLS goal and took the league by storm before making a move to Colombia’s Millonarios and then Portuguese giants Sporting CP. Montero left the Sounders as the club’s all-time leading goalscorer in all competitions and has come back with a bang nine years later, already adding two more tallies in the first four matches of the 2021 season.
“That was a good cameo for Fredy, and I’m hopeful for many more goals in many more appearances from Fredy,” said Schmetzer. “These are big games. Clint was a big-time player. Raúl is a big-time player. Fredy is a big-time player…We have players who rise up to the occasion.”
Montero, now 33, was more deferential after Sunday’s match, acknowledging his role as a super sub behind Ruidíaz and Will Bruin in Schmetzer’s new 3-5-2 formation. If anything, his performances are a great sign of things to come, as well as a warning to every other team across the league.
“It’s a great feeling when you play for a team that is always looking to win,” said Montero. “It’s a derby, so there’s so much to prepare. You have to be ready and be on your toes and ready to come in when your coach calls you. I’m just happy that was I able to come in and make a contribution.”