Okay, there is a lot going on and a lot of “O-M-G THE WORLD IS ENDING” type reaction here. I think it’s really important that I repeat some facts that have dwindled out, simply because I feel like there is something people are missing with this move. Then we’ll get into all of what it could mean for both parties…
Sounder[At]Heart already covered this and think it’s important to restate; The Sounders will have a designated player position open. Of course the caveat to that was he was speaking pertaining to if a moved was made.
We now know thanks to Joshua Mayers, that Fredy Montero‘s loan deal will be “worked out in next few days”.
I think it’s also pretty safe to say –and my apologies for those that are holding onto hope that Montero might return from this loan–that if the quotes from his agent are true, his time is up in Seattle.
We are grateful for the opportunity, the great treatment Fredy had from the Sounders and MLS, but we think it is time for Fredy to take his chances. -Helmut Wenin
Though he contradicts that thought with his communication with Joshua Mayers.
I would like to (add) that hopefully Montero will return to Seattle in the future – Wenin
So who knows if Fredy returns or not. I think at this point it’s pure speculation but we certainly all have our own opinion.
I think as Sounders fans there is a certain level of mourning that comes with this situation. That disappointment that is fuelled by our shared love for the Colombian sensation. A guy that came here–and came at great risk to his future–helped this organization rise beyond being just another expansion franchise in a doddering league. Instead this organization has become leader, a long with many others, in an effort to propel the MLS towards becoming relevant globally. A long the way he has become the top scorer for a club that is considered possibly in the back 90 of the top-100 in the world. Breaking out my best Dean Pelton voice I would say “that’s not bad”.
Montero had a HUGE part in all our accomplishments the past 4-years and his 60 all competition goals will stand above all for a long time for top to wear the rave green. But with that it likely is time, professional, for him to move on and in his own style move to another risky endeavour.
I think people that have read this blog think I have a low opinion of the Colombian league or of the Copa Libertadores. Neither could be further from the truth–though I do think that there is little difference between the top teams in MLS and Millonarios, but that’s simply my opinion.
Outside of the all the reporting that happened purely on the Colombian side, the biggest issue I had with this story–prior to any concrete details surfacing, was that it seemed risky. Millonarios is a great club and it’s definitely on the rise; You can see they’ve climbed in the IFHSS standings and agree with how they rank it or not it’s certainly interesting and promising opportunity for Montero. But, strange things happen in tournaments and you just never know if they go out quickly and then he’s stuck on loan in rather precarious position that could even negatively impact his transfer value. That’s my fear for him.
Getting back to the Sounders side, I’m actually a little excited about what this could all mean for Mario Martinez. Anyone that reads this site knows that I have a fondness for him. He’s not going to be Fredy but that could be both good and bad. What that also does is A) enable the Sounders to limit whatever moves they were going to make the rest of the way, as they are likely now under the MLS payroll cap and B) Have more opportunities for guys like David Estrada, Steve Zakuani and Martinez who were previously going to all be fighting for one spot. Now, I think it’s much more realistic to see them rotating through.
Though, I have to think that someone like Estrada has the upper hand going into the Season. His phenomenal work rate and ability to finish of looks is key and Sigi seems to enjoy his play style, even if he has some gaps in overall skill sets.
Are the Sounders a better team simply without Fredy Montero? Of course not. But, opening up chances and getting longer looks at guys with ceilings to improve and become good 1st team is going to help fill that void and support the club in lieu of their star striker.