Sounders Insider

Is Montero too good for MLS?

I guess that's the unspoken question in the Fredy Montero feature I wrote today for The News Tribune.

But feels a little more appropriate to speak it now, after watching Jozy Altidore's hat trick in leading the US National Team to its 3-0 World Cup-qualifying win over Trinidad & Tobago last night.

Altidore started his professional career with the New York Red Bulls of MLS -- imagine adding his presence to Sounders' opening night -- but was sold to Villareal of La Liga for $10 million, and this season his is on loan to Xerez in the Spanish second division.

MLS president Don Garber makes the case that the belief/fear that the league loses all of its best players to better leagues oerseas is incorrect. He notes that 53 of 56 of last season's MLS all-stars and postseason award winners remain in the league this season.

But Sounders can only hope against hope that Montero is one who will stick around a while. In my story liked above, he says he is happy in Seattle, that he's thinking only of this season, and that MLS is a good place for this stage of developing his game. But he also makes it clear that he sees his future in Europe.

By the way, there was one quote that I had included in today's Montero story that didn't make the print version due to space considerations, and I thought you might like to see it here.

It's from fellow-Sounders-rookie Steve Zakuani, talking about Montero:

"He's a great guy for if all, off the pitch and stuff," Zakuani said. "But as a player, he's incredible. From the first time I saw him here, I said this guy is unbelievable. He's definitely one of the main people I learn from. I watch him and see what he does in certain positions and stuff. At 21 years old, I can't wait to see what he's going to be in five, six, seven years. He's going to go places, definitely."

For Sounders fans, that last sentence is the scary one.