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Fredy Montero: From Scorer To Leader And Decoy

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Fredy Montero Dribbles Against Santos Laguna. Credit: Steven Bisig US PRESSWIRE
Fredy Montero Dribbles Against Santos Laguna. Credit: Steven Bisig US PRESSWIRE

Over the past few years MLS learned that a certain Seattle Sounders forward is a potent offensive force. Fredy Montero collects just over a point per game on average in all competitions currently with 43 goals and 34 assists for a PP90 of 1.12. In 2012, he only has two assists in his three games played. Sigi Schmid at practice today wasn't terribly worried about Montero's relative lack of offensive numbers so far;

Fredy wants to help us win games. In certain games, some people may be saying, ‘Well he didn’t score, he didn’t get an assist,’ but that’s not what his whole game’s about because obviously teams concentrate and focus on him. If the focus and concentration on Fredy opens up space for the other players, that helps our team. I think he’s matured enough now where it’s not always about goals and assists and so forth.

He understands that if he has to be the decoy today—because that’s going to help us win the game—he can play that role, as well. So he’s a little bit of a decoy at times. He withdrew himself a little bit and Estrada did the hard running up front…but it was because of the attention that Fredy drew to himself that helped open up David a little bit.

David Estrada, on KJR-AM Seattle yesterday, pointed out something else that Fredy Montero does. He leads.

I put my head down sometimes on plays when I mess up but Fredy Montero is always there to pick me up.

When Montero found out about Estrada's words in a post-practice interview he smiled. But he was also a bit humble. Fredy admitted he didn't learn how to be a leader.

It's something that you cannot learn. It comes from your teammates, my friends and hours on the field and having that friendship. I just try to do my best and help the team.

That leadership he's acquired through his time on the field and effort he's put forward have Montero as one of those who can and will wear the captain's armband during the season. A season that Sigi Schmid sees five or six leaders, Montero hopes he gets that opportunity more often.

He says that the team this year has six leaders. We're waiting to see if we have the opportunity to wear the captain's armband. I'm going to be proud and jump into it and do my best as always.

Montero is still only 24 years old, but he is connecting with players and fans in new ways. He and Alvaro Fernandez connect regularly over Twitter, always in Spanish and often funny, even if through an automated translator. He has developed friendships with Mauro Rosales and Estrada on the field. He will also be joining La Barra Fuerza Verde at an upcoming event they are holding.

It's good as a player, but as a person too. We are looking forward to the support of the fans. It doesn't matter if the community is Hispanic, Latin, or whatever. The only thing for a Sounders player is that they are fans. At some point we have to respond to what they do because they support us for 90 minutes.

Fredy Montero does things that should surprise you. He can score on the run from 40+ yards out. On a dead ball he can flat foot a keeper. Montero can chip a keeper just a few yards off the line. With a clever little back heel he can set his teammates up for success. He can also play the decoy, the leader and the captain.