The Seattle Sounders continue to prepare for Round One of the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs against Real Salt Lake (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, FOX Deportes, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS) at Lumen Field on November 23. The Rave Green have qualified for 13 consecutive postseasons, reaching MLS Cup in four of the last five years. For the Sounders, there is only one path forward: straight ahead.
In advance of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, we're breaking down the key players to watch. Here's everything you need to know about Fredy Montero.
ROLE IN THE SQUAD
Unlike his first stint in Rave Green from 2009-12, Montero is now much more of a role player, albeit a vital and talented one. He hasn’t been asked to do as much with the likes of Raúl Ruidíaz and Will Bruin occupying the No. 9 position, but Montero has been invaluable for Head Coach Brian Schmetzer this season. The 34-year-old has filled in wherever Schmetzer & Co. needed him in the attacking third and still has enough brilliance to influence matches.
REGULAR SEASON RECAP
Montero logged an impressive seven goals and six assists in just 15 starts across 29 appearances. He immediately announced his return with a goal and an assist in 18 minutes off the bench in the season-opener against Minnesota before scoring the match-winner at rival Portland a month later. With Ruidíaz gone for a quarter of the season due to injury and international duty and Nicolás Lodeiro and Jordan Morris out for almost the entire year, Montero provided fantastic attacking contributions on a team that at times was severely shorthanded.
BEST QUOTE ABOUT MONTERO
“These are big games. Clint [Dempsey] 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.” — Head Coach Brian Schmetzer
TOP PLAY OF 2021
Montero made a statement in his first match back with Seattle by volleying home a beautiful strike to put the exclamation point on a 4-0 win over Minnesota United, but his left-footed curler from distance that led to a historic 6-2 romp over the Portland Timbers on Aug. 15 rightfully earns top billing.
GOLAZO: Fredy Montero picks out the top corner from distance
Perhaps the only knock on Montero during his very successful four-year spell in Seattle was that he never found the back of the net in the postseason. He’ll be itching to get on the score sheet, and any contribution he can add will go a long way in helping Seattle lift another Western Conference title and return to MLS Cup. The Sounders will need to rely on his veteran presence and class at one point or another, and he has a chance to even further cement his legacy as a club legend. He and the Sounders begin their playoff run on Tuesday at home against Real Salt Lake (7:30 p.m. PT; FS1, FOX Deportes, 1090 KJR AM, El Rey 1360AM | TICKETS).