Montero to attend Sounders-San Jose Open Cup match

Staff writerJune 24, 2014 

  • SOUNDERS GAMEDAY

    SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (4-5-4 in MLS) AT SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC (10-3-2 in MLS)

    7:30 p.m., Starfire Sports Stadium, Tukwila.

    Broadcast: No TV or English-language radio. Live streaming at SoundersFC.com. The game can be heard in Spanish on 1490-AM.

    Head to head: San Jose leads the all-time MLS series, 7-6-1, but Seattle won 1-0 in the first meeting this season. Seattle also won the only previous Open Cup pairing, 1-0, in the 2012 quarterfinal in San Francisco.

    Notes: This is a fifth-round game in the 101st U.S. Open Cup, the national club championship involving all levels of U.S. Soccer. … Seattle advanced with a 5-0 win over amateur side PSA Elite (USASA), while the ’Quakes edged the Sacramento Republic (USL Pro), 2-1. … Both sides are expected to go with something close to their normal starting lineups. However, reserve goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann will start all Open Cup matches for Seattle. Sounders co-goals leader Obafemi Martins is back from an extended World Cup break, but he is not expected to play. … Seattle’s Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin and San Jose goals leader Chris Wondolowski are at the World Cup with the United States national team. … Seattle is 13-0-0 in Open Cup matches at Starfire, including 9-0-0 against MLS teams. … The Sounders reported a limited number of tickets remained available as of Monday afternoon.

    Quotable: “Whenever we play at Starfire, just the size of the field makes for a bang-bang game. The ball always seems to be in front of your goal or their goal. Based upon the way the schedule is for MLS right now, I imagine they come with pretty much of a first team lineup, and we’ll throw some of our guys back in as well.” – Seattle coach Sigi Schmid

    Next: The Sounders return to MLS play at 4 p.m. Saturday at D.C. United. If they advance, their next Open Cup match will be at Starfire at 7:30 p.m. July 9 against the winner of the Tuesday (June 24) Sporting Kansas City-Portland Timbers match.

    don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

— Seattle Sounders FC career goals leader Fredy Montero will be in the stands at Starfire Sports Stadium on Tuesday (June 24, 2014) watching his former team face the San Jose Earthquakes in the U.S. Open Cup.

After visiting the Sounders’ training session Monday, Montero said he hopes to rejoin the club as a player someday.

“That’s one of my dreams now,” he said. “I hope to be back playing for the Sounders.”

Montero played in his native Colombia before joining the Sounders in their 2009 expansion season. Over four seasons, he became Seattle’s career leader with 47 goals, including a career-high 13 in 2012. He also shares the club’s assist record with 34, and ranks among the leaders in several other categories.

However, in January 2013 he was loaned to Millonarios of Columbia, then loaned to Sporting Portugal, which signed him to a contract reported to run through 2018.

During this European offseason Montero returned to the Northwest, where his wife’s family resides.

“This is my second home, and I’m always happy to come here – always,” he said. “I feel like I have to go say hi to my old teammates, too.”

Montero said he continues to follow those teammates from afar.

“I know that they can still win the Open Cup this year,” he said. “Or they can still play for the first position (in Major League Soccer) and hopefully this year they win the Supporters’ Shield. Last year they had it close. I always hope for the team getting victories and happy for them because they are doing that right now.”

Montero said he will return to Europe before the Sounders resume league play Saturday at D.C. United. But he is taking advantage of his chance to watch them Tuesday as they meet the Earthquakes in the fifth round of the Open Cup – which the club won in 2009, 2010 and 2011 with Montero on the roster.

Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said he expects Montero to see a high-quality game. Schmid indicated that he will go with more of his regular starters than he did last week when Seattle routed amateur side PSA Elite of California.

He predicted a top-quality roster from the ’Quakes as well.

“I expect pretty much a first-team effort for them because the league hasn’t gone as well as they would have liked so far – where they’re at and their position,” Schmid said. “So the Open Cup becomes a source of pride, I think. If a team’s not doing as well, they put a little more stock into that.”

Seattle went into the league’s World Cup break at the top of the table with a 10-3-2 record. San Jose ranks eighth in the Western Conference at 4-5-4.

The winner of this match will advance to the Open Cup quarterfinal round, meeting the winner of the Tuesday (June 24) match between Sporting Kansas City and the Portland Timbers.

ADDED TIME

The Sounders reported “a limited amount” of tickets for the Open Cup match remained available as of Monday afternoon. … Seattle’s home match against the Los Angeles Galaxy originally scheduled for July 26 has been moved to 7 p.m. July 28 at CenturyLink Field to accommodate national television and “community-wide events,” including Seafair. The game will be shown on ESPN2.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer

@donruiztnt

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