Montero is Seattle’s all-time leading goalscorer in the MLS era, finding the net 60 times in 160 matches across all competitions.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Friday night will be an emotional one for Fredy Montero.
The striker spent four years with the Seattle Sounders, leaving them in 2012 as their all-time MLS leading scorer, a record he still holds today. A lot of time has passed since then. Montero has spent it playing his club soccer in his native Colombia, Portugal, and China, before ending up back in MLS this season with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Seattle will always hold a special place in his heart, but that will all be pushed to one side at BC Place in Friday’s clash (10 pm ET; MLS Live in US, TSN in Canada).
As Montero gets set to line up to play against his former side in the first Cascadian derby of the season, there is a lot on his mind in the build-up to the match.
“[These] days before the game, I’m just wondering how is that feeling going to be,” Montero told reporters at Whitecaps training this week. “For me, and for all the people that used to be supporting me. But to be honest, it’s not going to be any different to other games. I would like to win. I’m going to do everything I have to win this game but it’s going to be special, that’s for sure.”
Coming back to play against your former club is just part and parcel of modern day soccer. For the most part, long gone are the days of one-club players, but when Montero left for pastures new, could he have envisaged coming back one day to play against Seattle?
Maybe not, but now that he is, he’s set to put all former allegiances aside. He’s a Whitecap now.
“When I left Seattle five years ago, I always had in my mind to come back to MLS,” Montero said. “This is the situation that I am in. I’m defending the colors of a different team, which I’m proud of. I guarantee you I’m going to do everything I can, everything I have in my power, to help my teammates win this game, and the next game.”
Montero is Seattle’s all-time leading goalscorer in the MLS era, finding the net 60 times in 160 matches across all competitions. He’s followed the club’s fortunes from afar, including their MLS Cup win, often posting his support on social media. But although that affinity will always be there, it’s in the past now.
“Of course I still have friends [there],” Montero said. “It was an organization that I helped a little bit to build up the name and all the trophies they had a little bit in the beginning I helped a little bit as well. But to be honest, I’m not thinking about my past with Sounders.”
With the injuries to attackers Yordy Reyna, Brek Shea, and Erik Hurtado, Montero is almost Vancouver’s last man standing in the striking department. It adds to the pressure on his shoulders, but he feels he’ll thrive on it, especially in a rivalry game, like he always has.
“I always enjoyed my time playing and scoring goals in these kind of games,” Montero said. “They are unique, special in MLS. Today is a new day. I’m with Vancouver Whitecaps. I’m proud to be here and I’m going to do my best to win this game.”