Now, in his second stint with the Rave Green, Montero is hoping to make more history Wednesday night in the Leagues Cup Final against Club Leon (10 pm ET | ESPN2, UniMás, TUDN).
“I believe that this first-time international trophy would be great for the club, for MLS and for every single Seattle fan because they deserve to have one more trophy on the desk,” Montero said.
There are ample storylines heading into this showdown at Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, including Liga MX’s budding rivalry with MLS. They've found great success in international competitions, especially the Concacaf Champions League, while the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target last August (MLS win in penalty kicks) only fueled things further.
While Seattle players are aware of the historical ramifications, their focus is squarely on the task at hand over 90 minutes.
“I think we all have it in the back of our minds, a lot of us have been in this league for a long time and have seen Liga MX dominate MLS so we want to make sure that’s not the case [Wednesday] night,” midfielder Kelyn Rowe said. “But we also know we’re a very good team and we’re here to win a trophy and that’s on the front of our minds.”
To win Leagues Cup, the Sounders would have to dispatch a third Liga MX squad after already defeating Tigres UANL and Santos Laguna at the quarterfinal and semifinal stages, respectively.
The stakes will be raised next year after Tuesday's historic announcement of an expanded, reimagined Leagues Cup that will also award three CCL berths, including an automatic bid into the Round of 16.
With the stakes soon raising, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer recognizes what awaits as Seattle look to win their first international trophy. They've previously won two MLS Cups, one Supporters' Shield and four U.S. Open Cups.
"It goes well with the announcement about 2023 and making it a real massive deal," Schmetzer said. "We’d love to be the first MLS team, we’d love to be the first Sounder team, the first team from Seattle to win this Leagues Cup because I think that’s kind of the direction that both leagues want to go.
“So for us, it’s very important. You brought up some of the early Open Cup victories and certainly the Supporters’ Shield and a couple MLS Cups – yeah, this club is about winning trophies and this is a big deal. We’ve beaten two good Liga MX clubs in Tigres and Santos, so we’re awfully proud of the position we’ve put ourselves into. But we understand that [Wednesday] is going to be a tough game and we’ll have to be ready for it.”