Sounders' Montero out of funk, hopes goals keep flowing
It was just a matter of time.
That was the refrain from just about anyone involved with the Seattle Sounders during Fredy Montero’s scoring slump.
Turns out, they were right.
Montero came off the bench to score a pair of second-half goals and lead the Sounders to a 2-0 victory against FC Dallas on Wednesday. After failing to register a point in his first six games, Montero now has three goals and an assist in his past three.
“He’s a shark,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said of Montero following the game. “He’s a finisher. He made a difference in the game.”
GOAL: Montero beats Hartman at near post
The Sounders were playing their fourth match in 12 days and have their biggest test of the season coming up on Saturday when they host Real Salt Lake, who are the current MLS points leaders (10 pm ET, watch LIVE online). With that in mind, Sounders coach Sigi Schmid opted to play Mauro Rosales in the first half and sub him out for Montero at halftime.
“I talked to Mauro and Fredy, so that was a planned sub – that Mauro would play the first half, Fredy the second and we knew we had to save him some minutes,” Schmid said.
The decision couldn’t have worked out much better, as Montero entered the game fresh and ready to push a shorthanded FC Dallas side. He fired off a shot within the first three minutes of entering the game and broke through in the 68th minute, following that goal up with another tally just three minutes later.
Montero has now been used as a sub six times since the start of 2010, logging 156 minutes of playing time off the bench. His two goals on Wednesday give him three goals and two assists in those appearances.
“It’s a great feeling coming off the bench,” Montero said. “That was a decision made by the coach, and obviously we are players, we have to respect what he decides. He is the head coach and I’m happy to be here, so I got the opportunity to come in.”
That this performance came on the road should come as little surprise. Montero’s last four two-goal performances have come away from CenturyLink Field, and he now has six goals and three assists in his past seven road appearances. The Sounders have gone 6-0-1 in those games and now have an eight-game unbeaten streak on the road.
Prior to his hot streak, Montero had started to voice some worries over his lack of production. If coming off the bench or playing on the road is what he needed, that sits just well with him.
“I tried to score before, but you never can understand soccer,” Montero said. “Now, I’m scoring goals. I want to keep doing this. I’m really happy, so I will work hard like I did this week and we’ll see what happens this season.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.