TUKWILA, Wash. – When the Seattle Sounders FC opened training camp on Monday morning, the most prolific goal scorer in the short MLS history of the club was in Colombia – where he’ll be for at least a year.
The Sounders completed their long awaited loan of striker Fredy Montero to Millonarios FC of the Colombian first division just before training camp began. It was a process that took a few weeks and included a new wrinkle when Seattle signed Montero to a multi-year extension, giving the team and player an opportunity to reunite in the future.
But for now, the Sounders are moving on minus the player who scored the first goal in franchise history, along with 59 others during his four seasons in Seattle.
“Fredy’s been a very important player to this team,” Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. “We’ve got to see what we can do in terms of replacing him. We’re still looking at player options. I think we have some options within our squad.”
Part of the loan went beyond shaking up Seattle’s roster or opening up a designated player spot for the Sounders to try and make another high-profile signing. With the World Cup in Brazil just over a year away, the move of Montero back to a Colombian club could increase his chances of being included in the pool of players being considered for the national team.
Schmid and Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer both indicated that Montero’s national team status took a hit while he was playing in the MLS.
“We think it gives him a chance to maybe be a little closer to the national team pool. It gets him a possibility of hopefully being seen and back on the roster or on the radar there,” Hanauer said. “And it was just something we had talked about. Fredy had wanted to try something new; we’d talked to him about that over the years.”