As the roster overhaul of the Vancouver Whitecaps continued, many fans were noticing one glaring hole: striker. During the offseason, the Caps had gotten rid of last year’s goal leader Kei Kamara, along with expensive backup Anthony Blondell, and hard worker Erik Hurtado. In their place? Nothing.
Just prior to leaving for Hawaii, Marc Dos Santos noted that he had two strikers lined up -one with MLS experience and one brand new- and that he was just finishing up the paperwork. About a week ago, MDS was asked if that MLS-experienced striker was Fredy Montero. Although he did not confirm that it was, he did acknowledge that he would love to have Fredy back with the Whitecaps.
Yesterday, Fredy Montero and Sporting CP mutally agreed to terminate his contract. Flash forward to today and the Whitecaps made it official, announcing the return of their 2017 leading scorer.
The 31-year-old Colombian is set to join the club in the Los Angels leg of training camp, and is signed through 2020. Currently, he will be listed as a Designated Player, but depending on other transactions prior to the March 1st deadline, Montero’s contract could be bought down with Targeted Allocation Money.
Montero has always been a productive Major League Soccer player, and even managed to score 15 goals and add six assists during his 2017 loan, despite the club’s style being ill-suited for his skill set. For example, constantly crossing balls in for a 5’ 9” striker is probably not the best strategy (although it does work sometimes). In MDS more possession-oriented style Montero could flourish.
The move also aids the other new striker addition, 20-year-old Joaquin Ardaiz. Specifically, Ardaiz will not be shouldered with carrying the offence. Instead, he will be able to work with Montero and the club and find his footing.
What are your thoughts on the latest addition? See Montero as a good fit? Feeling more confident about the roster for opening day? What are the biggest holes left to fill in your eyes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.