Fredy Montero Retrospective - Roll On Colombian, Roll On

Wrapped in the colors of Colombia Montero hoists an Open Cup trophy - Otto Greule Jr

Fredy Montero is not a Seattle Sounder in 2013. Today's announcement included a contract extension so judging beyond this year is difficult. One thing we do know is that from 2009-2012 Montero led the offense and the highlight reels.

From day one Fredy Montero was special. That game, when no one had an idea if this Seattle Sounders MLS thing was really going to work, there were signals that he could do the amazing. The lasting image of day is the unbridled joy of the crowd, sparked by a Colombian. It was the 12th minute, the start of something special and a moment remembered in song.


Rooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Rooooooooooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...
So roll on Columbia, roll on!

And Fredy did. He rolled on to two goals and an assist in that win over New York. Just over a week later he netted his third goal of the year against Salt Lake. In the Sounders' first ever MLS season, in their first month, he was the Player of March across the league.

He would then struggle. The inconsistency showed early. His off-ball runs were not strong. He went down easy. While he would regularly go 90 he was judged by many not be giving the "Full 90." He and Freddie Ljungberg were in each other's way quite a bit.

Still he would make the 2009 All-Star game. Montero would score in five straight matches in MLS play. In the US Open Cup Final he would score, get stomped on, earn the Man of the Match and hoist the Sounders' first trophy of the MLS era. He would be the MLS Newcomer of the Year and make his first appearance as a finalist for the Goal of the Year.

He was a top scorer in the league, young and clearly special. In all competitions he tallied 13 goals and four assists. Fredy turned the darkness of pre-MLS Sounders soccer into dawn.

Rooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Rooooooooooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...
So roll on Columbia, roll on!

A new Fredy would emerge. One that was an artiste, a passer of balls, the withdrawn man, the trequartista. Amazing could happen at any time. He could score from distance, do fancy little footwork to open space and he would pass.

In 2010 he earned 11 assists in all competitions. There were also 12 goals. As he scored the first goal in MLS play, he also scored the first in the CONCACAF Champions League play. Montero was again an All-Star (though inactive). He was the Player of the Month in July. He adapted. He succeeded. There were still complaints about work effort. There were still stretches of inconsistency.

Down the stretch, over seven regular season, two CCL and two playoff matches, he would neither score, nor earn an assist. The team would go 5-5-1 in that stretch and get bounced from the MLS Cup Playoffs in the first round again. Without a big forward up top Montero seemed to struggle.

Rooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Rooooooooooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...
So roll on Columbia, roll on!

Seattle opened 2011 with a poor 0-2-2 record and Montero only had a single assist. And then the team heated up a bit going on a run. Fredy would miss games due to wrist surgery. He would play with a hard, and then a soft, brace. It was looking like it would be a down year for the Golden God.

It was not. He surged in the second half. It did not matter the competition - MLS, CCL, Cascadia Cup. He was on fire. Fourteen times he would find the net from July until the end of the season. He would assist on five other goals. This was his Open Cup year too. Montero would score three goals, two were gamewinners. He took home the US Open Cup Player of the Tournament.

Eighteen goals, 11 assists in all competitions and another finalist for the Goal of the Year. His stock was rising. He would again fail to score in the MLS Cup Playoffs, but would get an assist.

Rooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Rooooooooooooooooll on, Columbia roll on!
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn...
So roll on Columbia, roll on!

Expectations would be higher in 2012 than any year yet. Seattle had the number one offense in the league and though it was perceived that they traded depth, there was a chance that the non-Montero forward would be better than any the Sounders had yet. That was true.

Except for one thing. It seems that early in the season Fredy and Eddie didn't get along. It was EJ that would be the All-Star. Similar to 2011 something clicked later in the season.

The rumors of not getting along still appeared, but on the field the offense was potent. Montero would collect 17 goals, 13 assists. He would do completely Montero things.

Montero-golazo-pdx_medium_medium

No one could claim they were the King of Cascadia without taking that title from Montero. He rose up for those games. He performed for the Sounders faithful. In a season that was falling apart he was the spark. He was as strong as any in the non-MLS competitions and his performance in the friendly against Chelsea was incredible.

Seattle advanced further than ever in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Montero did not score. His assist on the Mario Martinez goal was simply brilliant. A segment of the fanbase would still be disappointed in the lack of scoring.

And now he leaves, either for one year or more. He will be headed back to the same league from which he joined MLS. He never won a scoring title here, nor the largest trophy. He did collect two Player of the Month awards, a Player of the Open Cup trophy, he made the All-Star roster a few times, he netted 60 goals and helped on 43 more. Hhis team won three Open Cups and made the MLS Cup Playoffs four straight years. The 12th minute song is yours and ours.

So Fredy you just go and Roll On down in Colombia, roll on. I'm just going to sit here and wonder what happens next.

Monterogrr_medium_medium

Thanks Fredy

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