Fredy Montero has earned a living playing soccer on four continents. On each of them, he’s had no shortage of personal highlights, winning trophies, scoring massive goals and having the sort of experiences most people can only dream of. But watching his interview during the debut episode of the Seattle Sounders’ new series “Once a Sounder” you get the distinct impression that we’ll always hold a special place in his heart.
Sounders sideline announcer Steve Zakuani, who was Montero’s teammate during all three of his seasons in Seattle, caught up with the Colombian while he was still playing for Sporting CP in Lisbon, Portugal. They clearly have maintained a sense of friendship over the years, despite often being on opposite sides of the world.
“I remember our group, 2009, 2010, 2011, all the respect for the the guys who came after but somehow we made what is Seattle now,” Montero said with an obvious sense of pride. “We set the foundation. I’m just happy because I still see your face and we still talk to other guys and it’s like we played yesterday. It’s something that is always going to connect us because we started from 0 and 10 years later we still have that connection.”
Montero also talked about having to face the Sounders, something he’ll likely have to do again after re-joining the Whitecaps shortly after this video was shot.
“It was weird, that first game in Seattle, it was really weird,” he admitted.
While there are clearly some fans who don’t continue to hold any particular warm feelings for players once they put on another jersey, plenty seem to remain interested. I’d imagine that’s doubly true for a player like Montero, who married a Seattle-area local, maintains a home here and is even planning to open a coffee shop in the Roosevelt neighborhood in the coming months.
When pressed about his feelings about playing for a rival, he half-jokingly offered this: “I told you not to ask this question … it’s our job. It’s part of our job to defend the colors of the team we’re playing for. After the first game, I think the fans in Seattle respected me. During the warmups, there were a lot of Seattle people telling me ‘I’m glad you’re back in MLS, we’re sad you’re not in Seattle, but don’t score today.’ They said that.”