Why is star Fredy Montero out of the Sounders' starting lineup?
A lack of production led coach Sigi Schmid to bench his star forward, Fredy Montero.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sounders FC @ Chicago, 5:30 p.m., KONG
Latest from the Sounders FC blog
TUKWILA — In Sounders FC's revolving-door lineup this season, nearly every player has sat on the bench at some point due to coach's decision.
Fredy Montero, the team's highest-paid player, is in that position now after losing his starting job before last week's game against Real Salt Lake.
The move was given indefinite status Wednesday by coach Sigi Schmid, who said he hasn't decided yet if Montero will return to the lineup Saturday against Chicago.
"It hasn't been a long period of time, so from that standpoint you have to weigh everything," said Schmid. "You have to weigh how the guys played who were on the field, but I thought (Montero) came off the bench and helped us. I thought he did some good things."
Schmid said after the game Saturday that a lack of production from the star forward was the initial reason for the move. While boasting a team-high four assists, Montero has only two goals this season.
The 23-year-old Colombian said a reduced role has given him some perspective.
"It's just a chance to sort of see the game from the outside," he said through a translator. "Being on the bench you have a chance to observe and analyze what's happening."
Montero was dropped from the starting lineup in a similar situation last year following a blowout home loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy. In the next game against New York, he came in as a second-half substitute to score the winning goal. Soon after, Montero rattled off nine-straight games with either a goal or assist.
In hopes of getting back on track this year, Montero played 64 minutes in Monday's reserve game in Portland. After noting that opposing teams have better learned how to defend him over the years, Montero said, "I just need to sort of grow with that and keep giving my all."
His teammates are confident he will.
"We all know what a great player Fredy is, and in this sport sometimes you're in and sometimes you're out," said defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado through a translator. "Right now Fredy is out, but he's taking it with great responsibility and professionalism."We hope that soon he's off the bench, back in the game and playing the type of soccer we all know he's capable of playing."
• An online report in England's Daily Mail has linked former English Premier League goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann to Sounders FC. The Seattle native and former A-League Sounder will be a free agent this summer and told ESPN's Douglas McIntyre that a move home was a possibility. Though Hahnemann, 38, said he still had to talk to "the guys in Seattle to see if they actually want me first."
Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer responded in a statement: "Marcus Hahnemann is a great goalkeeper ... and we've discussed the possibilities. That said, there is a very specific process through which U.S. National Team players may enter (MLS), so we cannot make any comments on specific contract negotiations or the likelihood of Marcus ending up in Seattle."
As a U.S. national, Hahnemann would likely have to join MLS through an allocation process. Sounders FC currently has the seventh-highest priority in the allocation order.
• Every player wants to be on the field for every minute, but Hurtado said he has benefited from extra rest here and there throughout the season. The 27-year-old center back tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee last year. "It's a real credit to our training staff that they had a vision on how long my recovery was going to be," said Hurtado, who has started 10 of 14 games. "I feel stronger than ever and I'm just looking forward to the rest of the season."
• Midfielder Alvaro Fernandez is listed as questionable for Saturday's game after straining his right hamstring early in last week's game. Schmid said the designated player was "much better" on Wednesday and was "able to do a lot more" as he recovers.
• Only goalkeeper Kasey Keller and midfielder Osvaldo Alonso have played all 1,260 minutes this season.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or email@example.com
Trending on seattletimes.com
Most viewed photo galleries
The Morning Memo
The Morning Memo jump starts your day with weather, traffic and news
Career Center Blog