It has been a near foregone conclusion ever since he was first loaned out several months ago, but Miguel Montano officially signed with the Montreal Impact on Wednesday. The Seattle Sounders did not receive compensation for Montano, but GM Adrian Hanauer noted that his loan last year gave the team the flexibility to sign Sammy Ochoa.
While Montano had displayed significant promise, he was very much a raw player who did not look particularly close to breaking into the Sounders' regular rotation. The 20-year-old Colombian received his one, and only, start during his rookie season in 2010, but was shown a red card for a rather mindless retaliatory elbow. That seemed to signal the beginning of the end of his Sounders career.
After that, Montano only played three more times, with just two of them in 2011. His last senior-team appearance in Rave Green came back in June when he played 25 minutes against the Vancouver Whitecaps in an eventual 2-2 tie.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Impact are more apt to see his potential at this point:
"In 2011, Miguel showed that he is a dangerous, mobile, and intelligent young forward and his performances helped the team to a very strong second half of the season," said Impact head coach Jesse Marsch. "Moving into MLS, we believe that Miguel is ready to elevate his game even more and contribute to a successful year in 2012."
Montano's best moments came in the Reserve League. Montano made eight appearances this year, scoring a goal and registering two assists. His goal was one of those moments that will stick in the minds of those who saw it, as he made several clever moves to give himself space before scoring his only goal as a Sounder. During the celebration, he pointed to the name on the back of his jersey, a display that seemed to accurately sum up his time in Seattle.
For all the promise that Montano displayed, he never showed nearly enough maturity. He picked up two yellow cards in just 465 Reserve League minutes and often sulked publicly about his lack of playing time. Montano might have been no better than the Sounders' third or fourth best option at any wide midfield position and did not seem to have much future here.
Maybe Montano will go on to have a solid MLS career with the Impact. If so, we should probably be happy for him. A new start in Montreal may have been just what he needed and, for all his foibles, he seemed like a good kid who just needed to grow up a little.