PORTLAND, OR - SEPTEMBER 15: Fredy Montero #17 of Seattle Sounders FC runs with his teammates as he celebrates after scoring a goal against the Portland Timbers during the second half of the game against the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Field on September 15, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Fredy Montero had to have noticed.
On May 14, 2011, before the first MLS-era Sounders-T*mbers match, the ECS unleashed an epic tifo that probably created more buzz than the dreary 90' of soccer that followed.
All the photos of the display, taken after the full deployment, show Roger Levesque as the grinning centerpiece. However, Fredy's was the first of the 6 faces which were displayed during the staged choreo, in the middle right over Section 122, the match day core of ECS. However, when the display was all over, his face was hidden.
At the time, Sounders supporters were ready to fully embrace Montero. The last of the stragglers still calling him "lazy," or suspecting Seattle is little more than a way-station on his way to Europe, were but the lunatic fringe of the base of Sounders fans. Of course, he wasn't quite there yet. Win us the Cascadia Cup, clinch us another Open Cup, and we'll talk next year.
But then along came Eddie Johnson. You see, it seemed as though the din had finally had its way. Being the leader of the League's finest attack the prior year hadn't silenced the naysayers who still saw the team's greatest shortcoming as the lack of a "traditional center forward."
So after a slow start what does Eddie Johnson do? Nothing but lead the team in goals and go on a mid-summer spree that saw him garner most of the team headlines.
Of course, Fredy knew, just like we really knew all along, who the straw that stirred the drink was.
The case has been made for Fredy Montero as MLS MVP. And the supporters should all agree.