NEW YORK – Fredy Montero's bilstering hot streak and the Seattle Sounders' midseason turnaround are no coincidence. On Wednesday, the Colombian striker was rewarded with the MLS Player of the Month honors for July as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).
Montero has registered a goal or an assist in eight straight MLS matches. He also scored an all-important goal in a CONCACAF Champions League qualifying first leg last week against Salvadoran side Metapán, which helped his club advance to the group stage of the continental tournament.
After a quiet start to the season, Montero re-emerged in a month which saw the divorce between the Sounders and talismanic DP Freddie Ljungberg, who was traded to the Chicago Fire on July 30.
In league play, Montero scored two goals in July, including the game-winner last weekend in San Jose. He also registered three assists on the month, two of them leading to game-winning goals.
His 89th-minute cross for Roger Levesque’s goal gave the Sounders a 1-0 win in DC on July 15, and he helped set up Steve Zakuani for the second goal of a 2-1 Sounders win over the Colorado Rapids on July 25.
“Our [team] character right now is exemplified by Fredy Montero because the effort he is putting in game after game,” Sounders manager Sigi Schmid said about Montero after the team advanced to the CONCACAF Champions League group stage on Tuesday night. “He is leading the way for us but everyone is stepping up to the opportunities that get presented and nobody is letting anybody down.”
The 23-year-old Montero has seven goals on the season and is tied for second-best in MLS with eight assists, which are one better than his total for helpers in 2009. The award is the second of his career after he also won it in March 2009, the month of his debut in MLS.
2010 MLS Player of the Month Winners
April: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
May: Alvaro Saborio (Real Salt Lake)
June: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
July: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)