MLS teams have learned to stop Montero by marking him hard. By crowding him when he's on ball, and to never give him a shot inside the box. They know that his vision, while good, is sometimes limited when in traffic.
At the same time Montero seems to be expecting the game to be called differently than it is and looks to the referees. He was a young stud, and is now just a young good player. Those calls will not go his way, at least not as often in this league, at this time.
The good news for Sounders fans is that Fredy will likely be here for the entire season. After March we didn't think that was true.
Now though, Sebastien Le Toux is showing that he fits well into Sigi's system. Steve Zakuani is making a name for himself as the Left Midfielder, but really a Left Wing. Now, the team needs to find a way to get the most talent on the pitch. Talent that is most likely to win games.
This week, against Colorado we can either see something innovative from Sigi, or he can go with simply replacing Brad Evans (Likely out with knee injury) with Seb Le Toux. This though would leave Sounders FC with Nate Jaqua as the Target Forward who works the pivot, and the Freddyain issue.
Is there a way to solve these multiple problems?
I say yes.
Fredy Montero should be the right side version of Zakuani. 11 and 17 on the wings. This would get Montero into open space, replicating the success he had along the right wing and elbow against Dallas.
This would be a slight shift from the 4-1-3-2 to a 4-1-4-1 almost, as Le Toux comes back often enough that he would play as a second CAM at times. He gets back defensively much better than Montero which would help as well in the central third.
While Montero would be weaker than Le Toux defensively as the Right Mid, Seattle has Riley running up the touchline on the right, as well as both Alonso and Hurtado used to swinging wide to prevent the attack.
For me though the key to success is to reestablish that transition game, the box-to-box in 10 seconds or less thing. For Montero to take part in that he needs to get his touches when he has space, plus in less crowded situations he is more likely to get the call in his favor.
This idea, this change, would force him into a slightly different role, but it is one that has precedent. There are several great goal scorers who play as RW/RM rather than as Forwards. While I don't claim that Montero is their equal, he may be their analog.
C.Ronaldo in a 4-4-2
L.Messi in a 4-3-3
A.Arshavin with Arsenal's 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 as a LM or RM
Men who use space to score, who aren't "traditional" forwards. Players who when isolated can beat a man on the dribble or with a deft pass.
Montero can do that in MLS, maybe at different levels, but certainly here. He has the flair, and pace. He can run the ball down in direct play along the touchline.
Do you really think that Jordan Harvey can stop Fredy? If he can't it forces someone from the defensive triangle wide which leaves one of Jaqua, Le Toux or Ljungberg open in a channel or pivot.
Sure, this is just an idea, but could it work? Do you have a different idea for the Right Mid while Evans is out?