One of the most efficient scorers in Major League Soccer over the last decade is returning to the league, with a rival of the club that gave him his big break. The Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Wednesday that they signed Fredy Montero on a season-long loan from Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League.
“It’s a great signing for us and we’re delighted to welcome Fredy to our club,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said. “We have worked diligently throughout the offseason to strengthen the forward areas and today we have managed to add a very good striker in Fredy. He has proven throughout his career to be an elite attacking player and consistent goalscorer, and he is already familiar with the league and environment. We look forward to seeing him on the pitch wearing the Blue and White.”
Montero was seen as surplus in the Chinese first division after a new rule enforced a quota on foreign-born players in order to drum up more playing time for domestic players. The Whitecaps acquired Montero by trading for the No. 1 position in the allocation order. Vancouver sent $125,000 of targeted allocation money and $100,000 in general allocation money, both for the 2018 season, and an international player slot for the 2017 season to Minnesota United to get the deal completed for Montero.
The 29-year-old striker scored 47 goals for the Seattle Sounders during his first stint in Cascadia. From there he went on to shine for Sporting Lisbon before making a big-money move to China.
‘I’m really excited, so happy, and feel blessed,” Montero said. “I was looking forward to once again playing in Major League Soccer and I am so thankful to Whitecaps FC for giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to step onto the field, in front of the great Vancouver supporters, and start scoring goals.”