Photo Courtesy of Corky Trewin/Seattle Sounders FC
VANCOUVER, B.C. – When the Sounders need him most, Fredy Montero generally responds. Seattle’s Designated Player rose to the occasion again in Vancouver on Saturday night, scoring twice to give the Sounders a 3-1 victory and possession of the Cascadia Cup.
In the four matches this season against the Cascadia rivals of Vancouver and Portland, Montero boasts an impressive stat line: four goals and one assist.
Montero’s contributions are a reason why Seattle earned the cup with a 2-0-2 aggregate record.
If there were an award for the Cascadia MVP, no question it would go to Montero.
“He's a special player and makes special plays,” coach Sigi Schmid said of his Colombian striker. “Tonight he did that."
Montero has three goals and three assists in the last five MLS matches. Including his output in the Champions League and U.S. Open Cup, he accounts for six goals and four assists in the last nine matches. With the USOC Final set for Oct. 4 and the MLS playoffs soon after, his teammates hope Montoro’s form continues.
“It’s a streaky player,” midfielder Brad Evans said of Montero. “When he does catch fire, it’s like he can score three-four goals a game, no problem. You saw that tonight—he had so many good chances.”
“He loves scoring goals,” Evans added. “It’s his favorite thing in the world. You see the way he reacts to any goal, whether it’s a bomb of a deflection or a tap-in. It's the same reaction after every goal.”
In Seattle’s first league game without the injured Mauro Rosales, Montero took up the scoring slack. The 24-year-old was involved in all three of Seattle scoring plays.
In addition to the two goals—including his highlight-reel worthy first—Montero took the first shot in the sequence that led to Jay DeMerit’s hand ball in the penalty area.
In his three years in Seattle, Montero has developed a special bond with the fan base. He celebrated both his goals in front of the Sounders fans who packed a section at Vancouver’s Empire Field. In his post-match comments, Montero gave a shout-out to the supporters who made the two-and-a-half hour trip north.
"I feel very good for those people who come from Seattle to Vancouver to support us,” said Montero, who now conducts his interview in English. “I just want to say thanks to the fans for their support. We look forward to battle for them every single game out there."
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.