The Sounders have signed a one-year contract with forward Fredy Montero with an option to extend the contract until 2022 and 2023, the club announced Thursday. The Colombian will join the team’s pre-season camp once he passes mandatory quarantine and testing protocols.

“Fredy is a prolific forward who has proven himself in MLS and abroad,” said Garth Lagerwey, general manager and president of soccer for the Sounders. “The return of good players to Seattle is a testament to the strong culture we’ve built. I can’t wait to get him into the squad and see what he can bring to our attack.

News of Montero’s return to Seattle was first reported by Niko Moreno of Pulso Sports. The bilingual site created a wave of anticipation Wednesday.

The club’s official Twitter account posted a video of Montero speaking to fans of The Sounders on Thursday.

“My family and I are really happy to be staying in town,” Montero said. “We have so many great memories here, and I can’t wait to do more.”

Montero, 33, is a free agent who likely became more intriguing as an addition to the roster last week after forward Jordan Morris suffered a season-ending knee injury while he was loaned to Swansea City AFC Morris was not due to play for the Sounders until the fall at the earliest but the injury makes his future cloudy.

Lagerwey and his staff have been unable to search for talent in person due to COVID-19 restrictions. Montero is a familiar player who is also based in the Seattle area, reducing the bet by offering a deal that matches the club’s tight salary cap.

Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer hinted at the signing during a video conference with media on Tuesday. But it was more in line with building a standard list.

“Throughout our idea, whether Jordan got hurt or not, was to go through that first part of the year (and) find out what would happen with Jordan’s loan,” Schmetzer said of the earnings. monetary potential if Morris was functioning well enough for Swansea to buy. his full rights.

“There’s probably room for another seasoned guy in MLS,” Schmetzer said. “If there’s one MLS veteran who’s got a good value for the money, who fits the needs, all that sort of thing. A lot of times teams go through the preseason, there are guys falling down from different rosters, there might be a weird free agent coming up. We will continue to search. We are still looking.

Montero was one of the Sounders’ first stars, playing for the club from 2009 to 2012. The creative player is tied with Clint Dempsey as the Rave Green’s all-time leading scorer with 47 and helped Seattle win. three US Open Cup titles.

Montero played internationally and returned to MLS in February 2017 to play for Vancouver Whitecaps FC on a one-year loan from Tianjin Tigers FC. Montero led rival Cascadia to their first MLS playoff victory this season.

After playing for Portugal in 2018, Montero returned to Vancouver for the past two seasons in MLS. He finished with five goals and five assists in 11 starts and 16 appearances last year.

Montero doesn’t meet the Sounders’ direct need for a left winger, but Schmetzer didn’t shy away from the idea of ​​a starting line-up with another striker alongside Raul Ruidiaz. The latter is also likely to be called up several times to play for his Peruvian national team, reinforcing the need for more goalscorers.

“There is a strong possibility that we put a little more work into a high school education just to see what it looks like,” Schmetzer said. “I don’t remember a time when there was only one place available and your starting consensus, there will always be competition, but it was not as open as it is today. How we complete this. How can we, not replace Jordan, because you are not replacing Jordan, how do you resolve this situation? I know Garth has always been able to pull rabbits out of his hat and have players.

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