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Vancouver Whitecaps bring back Fredy Montero

Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Whitecaps forward Fredy Montero (12) celebrates a goal during the first half at BC Place. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)

The Vancouver Whitecaps reacquired striker Fredy Montero on Friday, following a 13-month stint he spent with Portuguese Primeira Liga club Sporting Lisbon.

The 5-foot-9 striker had 61 goals and 42 assists in 148 starts and 165 appearances in five MLS seasons, including playoffs. He is one of only 20 players in MLS history to record at least 60 goals and 40 assists in league play.

Montero rejoins the club after spending a successful 2017 campaign in Vancouver. That year, the Colombian was the club’s top scorer with 15 goals and six assists in 31 starts and 39 appearances across all competitions. He helped the Whitecaps finish just a point of first place in the Western Conference and earn their first win in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

“Vancouver is a special place for my family and me,” Montero said. “I’m blessed and excited to be back. The city and fans welcomed us in 2017, and I’m ready to score goals and give my all to the club once again. I just want to say thank you to the coaching staff for giving me this opportunity.”

Whitecaps coach Marc Dos Santos said he’s happy to have Montero back in Vancouver as well. 

“He’s returning to a city and a club he knows very well, and to a league where he’s had incredible success,” Dos Santos said.

Montero, who holds a United States Green Card from his time at playing with the Seattle Sounders, will not occupy an international roster spot. 

The Whitecaps originally acquired Montero via the MLS Allocation Process two years ago to the day, securing the No. 1 spot in the Allocation Ranking Order from Minnesota United in exchange for $100,000 in General Allocation Money, $125,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and a 2017 international roster spot.

That trade allowed the Whitecaps to sign the striker on loan from the Chinese club Tianjin TEDA. But following his successful 2017 season in Vancouver, the club decided not to re-sign him and Montero instead moved on to Portugal. 

Playing for Sporting, he won the 2018 and 2019 Portuguese League Cup. He also became one of the fan favorites. Montero scored nine goals across all competitions, including five in the UEFA Europa League.

“He gives us a proven goalscorer and an important presence in our locker room,” Dos Santos said. A record that is underlined by his MLS goalscoring heroics not just for Vancouver but also for Seattle where he still holds the all-time record with 60 goals, in addition to his 42 assists in 160 matches across all competitions.

One question that remains open is Montero’s status within the squad. 

“Whether Fredy will be a Designated Player or whether we will use Targeted Allocation Money on his contract will be determined prior to the MLS Roster Compliance Date on March 1,” Dos Santos explained. 

Either way, Dos Santos seemed excited to have Montero return to Vancouver, saying, “We’re looking forward to having him join the group as we start the next phase of our training camp in Los Angeles.”

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