Montero on Whitecaps-Sounders: "It's a dream to be part of these games"

Fredy Montero - Vancouver Whitecaps

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Fredy Montero has played in a lot of Cascadia Cup derbies over the years, on two sides of the Pacific Northwest divide.

After four seasons with the Seattle Sounders and one with the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Colombian has experienced it all. From the highs of match-winning goals and lifting the Cascadia Cup to the lows of Audi MLS Cup Playoffs defeats. And for him, it never gets old.

The unbeaten Sounders are heading to Vancouver on Saturday (10pm ET | TSN1 in Canada; MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US), and Montero’s continued buzz for these matches is clear.

"My excitement is still high," Montero told "For any player it's a dream to a part of these games. I had an opportunity in the past, then I went back to Europe and I played these big games, rivalries, and I'm telling you any player is going to be excited to be on the field in these type of games."

Montero is fully aware just how much of a battle the winless Whitecaps will have on their hands on Saturday evening against his former side.

Three straight wins has seen the Sounders get off to their best start since their inaugural MLS season back in 2009, which was also Montero’s first year in the league. A victory against Vancouver in their matchup on Saturday would set a new club record.

"I don't want to compare both teams," Montero said. "I had good memories from 2009 until 2012, but all I can tell you is that they have very good players. We need to be alert and we need to be focused in every single moment of the match because it's going to be a game that which ever team is making mistakes, the other is going to take advantage of that and score goals."

Montero has been keeping a close eye on his former side and has been impressed with what he’s seen so far from Seattle. In particular, Montero highlighted the Sounders' team chemistry and cohesion as an attacking unit as playing an important part in their current strong start to the season.

"They are a team that have been playing together for a while now," Montero added. "I'm sure that's the most important weapon for them. They know how everyone plays. They know what moments to attack into space. For us, it's going to be about us being in this block defensively and then when we attack we have to do so as fast as we can because we know we can hurt them with the speed that we have in front."

After four years away, Montero returned to MLS in 2017, joining Vancouver and producing his best-ever season in the league with 14 goals and six assists. There’s something about playing his former team that brings the best out of Montero, with three of those goals coming against the Sounders in the two league meetings at BC Place.

He’s hoping for more of the same this weekend, as the Whitecaps look for their first points of the new season.

"Every single game is different, and I'm sure this one is something else due to the results we've both been having at the beginning of the season," Montero mused. "Of course I want to score goals, of course I want to help my team win games, but most important is that as a club, we start winning.

"We always want more. Personally I want more. I want to keep helping the team and scoring goals, giving assists, but at the end of the day it's about the group. We have a goal, which is making the playoffs and we need to start winning games, getting three points, and we need to start now in this game against Seattle at home."