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Sounders transfer rumor: Fredy Montero signs

Multiple sources have confirmed the Sounders are exploring the possibility of bringing back their all-time leading scorer.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Vancouver Whitecaps FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (March 4): It looks like Fredy Montero has signed and will wear the No. 12 jersey. The move will likely be made official soon.

Fredy Montero could soon return to the Seattle Sounders.

The news was first reported by Niko Moreno and was subsequently independently verified with a very reliable source by Sounder at Heart. The source did not indicate how close a deal was, but made clear that talks are ongoing.

On Monday before these reports surfaced, Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer may have hinted at the signing when he suggested the team could still sign a MLS veteran.

“There’s probably room for another experienced MLS guy,” Schmetzer told reporters. “We’re still looking ... still keeping tracking of some potential targets.”

Montero is currently a free agent after spending the last two seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps as a Designated Player. He would almost certainly need to agree to a sizable pay cut as the Sounders still have limited cap space and are likely hoping to keep most of that in reserve for a bigger summer signing.

Although the 33-year-old remains reasonably productive — he had 13 goals and 8 assists in about 3,100 minutes spread out over the last two seasons — it would not be hard to imagine him signing a club-friendly deal with the Sounders. Not only has he maintained a good relationship with the Sounders since leaving the team following the 2012 season, but he planted deep roots here. Montero is married to a local woman, has extensive family in the area, has maintained a residence here and owns a local coffee shop.

Montero does not necessarily fill the Sounders’ biggest need — outside winger — but he would give them another veteran attacking player, of which they are in particularly short supply. Raúl Ruidíaz is the only player on the Sounders roster who maintains a better career MLS goals per 90 minutes than Montero’s .44 mark. Even discounting Montero’s goals from the penalty spot and secondary assists, he’s still averaged a perfectly respectable .45 goals + primary assists per 90 in his three seasons with the Whitecaps.

Even though his scoring prowess has diminished some, Montero remains an elite passing forward as well. It’s not at all hard to imagine him working nicely with players like Ruidíaz, Nicolás Lodeiro or Will Bruin.

Just for good measure, it’s worth remembering that Montero is still the Sounders’ all-time leading scorer in all-competition goals (60) and is tied with Clint Dempsey for all-time regular-season goals (47).

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