Sounders Insider

Montero wins MLS newcomer award

The Sounders sent along this reaction from coach Sigi Schmid: “This is a great honor for Fredy because he faced some formidable competition for the award within our own team. He had a great first season in MLS, and we’re very proud of his accomplishment.”

Here's part of the release from MLS:

Major League Soccer today announced that Seattle Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero won the MLS Newcomer of the Year award.

Montero, 22, from Barranquilla, Colombia burst onto the MLS scene in 2009, leading the expansion Sounders FC in scoring with 12 goals while recording seven assists to tie for the second highest total on the team with Nate Jaqua.

Montero got off to a blazing start with Sounders FC, tallying two goals and an assist in the club’s season-opening win against the New York Red Bulls before a sellout crowd at Qwest Field and live national audience on March 19. He was named MLS Player of the Week for Week 1 and MLS Player of the Month for March after scoring four goals and tallying one assist in the opening month.

Montero joined Sounders FC after four seasons with Deportivo Cali in Colombia. He spent the 2006-07 season on loan to Colombian squad Atletico Huila. The 2009 MLS All-Star was a key contributor to a Sounders FC team that found success on and off the field in its inaugural season.

Montero’s 12 goals included four game game-winning tallies – against the Red Bulls (March 19), the San Jose Earthquakes (June 13), the Colorado Rapids (June 28) and D.C. United (Sept. 12). Montero led the voting ahead of teammates Kasey Keller and Freddie Ljungberg, the other finalists for the award.

The Newcomer of the Year honors the player who is in his first season in Major League Soccer, but has prior professional experience, making him ineligible for Rookie of the Year honors. The award’s prior recipients were D.C. United’s Luciano Emilio (2007) and San Jose’s Darren Huckerby (2008).

Also today, Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton was named comeback player of the year.

More at MLSnet.com.

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