SEATTLE — Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid wants Fredy Montero to score. Montero says he needs opportunities before he can do anything.
That’s the impasse the Sounders face after a 1-0 home loss to FC Dallas.
In a game that saw Seattle in and around Dallas’ penalty area for most of the second half, no Sounders player could find the net — least of all Montero.
Seattle’s DP came out after 75 minutes, having managed only two shots, neither of which were on goal.
Schmid didn’t mince words when asked about Montero’s performance.
“He needs to score. End of story,” Schmid said. “That’s what he’s paid to do. … It’s a difficult task, but that’s the task at hand.”
Montero offered a different perspective in his post-match comments, pointing out the lack of goal-scoring opportunities he’s been provided with.
“What concerns me is that I need the opportunities,” Montero said through a translator. “I can’t say that I didn’t score and then got substituted. There were no opportunities and that gets me a little bit sad, a little bit annoyed.
“Hopefully there will be more opportunities. That’s one of those things that needs to be improved.”
What’s clear is that Seattle’s offense is struggling. What’s less clear is the reason.
Injuries and the ensuing tumult certainly haven’t helped. The Sounders once again shuffled their lineup before Wednesday night’s match, with Mike Fucito becoming the fourth player to start alongside Montero. (Roger Levesque, Nate Jaqua and O’Brian White are the others.)
Seattle have only used the same starting XI in back-to-back games twice in 2011. In 13 matches, 11 different permutations have been used to start a match. Montero, in his response to Sigi Schmid’s comments, didn’t put much stock into lack of continuity as a possible reason for his personal struggles.
“Maybe that will be one of the reasons,” Montero said. “Still, we are all professionals and we know the other players, we know our colleagues. What happens on the field needs to be the players’ responsibility.”
Clearly, Schmid expects more than two goals from a DP striker. Yet that is Montero’s total after 11 games. The Colombian, who has added three assists on the season, nearly got another one against Dallas, but Mauro Rosales’ first-half shot was saved.
With just two days’ rest before Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake, Montero kept a sense of perspective.
“The truth is that this doesn’t end here,” Montero said. “There will be other games to play.”
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS