The Vancouver Whitecaps may have found a solution to their striker problem. Multiple sources are reporting former Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero is headed to the Canadian side on loan. The 29-year-old Colombian last played for Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League where he scored nine goals in 29 appearances.
Montero’s career took off during his first MLS stint from 2009 – 2012 as a member of the Sounders. He scored Seattle’s first-ever MLS goal and went on to find the net 47 times in 119 MLS games. His standout performance with the Sounders led to stints in Colombia and Portugal before his time in China.
On paper, Montero immediately fills the glaring hole Vancouver has at forward. The ‘Caps have looked listless going forward in the preseason and with less than two weeks before a CONCACAF Champions League game with the New York Red Bulls, the club needs help fast. Montero would give Vancouver a true focal point to build the attack around. He’s a proven MLS scorer and his 34 assists as a member of the Sounders are evidence he can create goals too.
The deal sounds imminent, but Vancouver likely had to do some maneuvering to get it done. As a former MLS player who left for a transfer fee, Montero is subject to the allocation order, a mechanism where Vancouver is currently fourth behind Minnesota United FC, Houston Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes. All three teams in front of Vancouver seemly have answers at forward, but Minnesota would be smart to maximize its asset by trading the slot to the ‘Caps. Montero’s salary will also be an interesting point of note. He was a designated player with Seattle and, since this is a reported loan, is theoretically still on lucrative contract in China. Vancouver has both the DP slots and the cap space to sign Montero, but exactly how much the team decides to pay him or whether the Chinese team will foot the bill is still in question.
Lots to sort out, but Whitecaps fans can feel a bit of relief now that their club has finally made a move. More help may be on the way as well. Rumors are floating around that Vancouver is interested in bringing Canadian international Atiba Hutchinson home. If the ‘Caps are able to pull that and the Montero signing off, it would be a big boost to a disappointing offseason.