Fredy Montero - Fantastic Hair
Absolutely magnificent hair – yes, fashion and style are imperative to being an eloquent footballer and Fredy Montero has the look. Now the question begging to be answered is can he replicate the look on the ‘turf’ of BC Place as he has done periodically throughout his career. Another point of mention is the uniqueness of Montero – I mean how many people named Fredy spell their name with one D – superfluous but grandiose.
Vancouver Whitecaps supporters are excited and rightfully so. Montero is an excellent footballer. His strengths are aesthetically pleasing on the eye and have the possibility to get supporters on their feet. He’s got an absolute laser of a right foot and can let fly from 30 yards out, at times with pinpoint accuracy. Montero is incredibly nimble and has exquisite control in tight spaces with the capability to carve out scoring opportunities in the 18-yard box when all seems impossible. His vision is impeccable and decision making good as he is not the ‘selfish’ striker that is only tunneled towards the opposition goal – he brings others into play.
Montero is 29 and will be 30 in July. Statistically speaking, a footballer is in their prime between the ages of 27-29 - optimal age being 27.5. Yes, the MLS is a technically a weaker league than certain leagues in Europe however, there are variables which add to fatigue and injury risk such as playing on ‘turf’ and coast to coast travel. The risk of injury increases with age as it does with the aforementioned challenges. I only lay out these concerns because I feel Caps supporters should be subdued in their expectation that Montero alone will turn the team into play-off contenders. Montero isn’t going to be the striker he was with the Seattle Sounders when his goal-scoring exploits were exemplary – he scored 60 goals in 160 games. He followed that up with 27 goals in 94 games with Sporting Club of Portugal. During this time his age bracket was 23 – 29.
My inclination is that Montero will move deeper into more of a traditional number 10 role, the fanatsista, enhancing the opportunity to strike from range and make deeper runs into the box to get on the end of crosses. This tactic will mitigate the risk of injury which is increased through playing the number 9 role and taking a battering from opposition defenders. If this is the case, there is still a glaring hole in the number 9 role. Someone that can run off Montero, hold the ball up with strength and find space in the penalty box.
Fredy Montero is a great signing for the Vancouver Whitecaps but unfortunately he’s not the game changer that is going elevate the team to perennial contenders. Montero is definitely a step in the right direction but hopes of a collaborative assault on the Western Conference should remain subdued until more quality depth is added.