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Originally published Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 8:13 PM

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Fredy Montero reportedly headed to Colombian club

Montero, the Sounders' leading scorer, would play for Colombian club Millonarios on a six-month loan that could become permanent.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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I hope and EXPECT that Adrian will get something substantial in return. Montero can be... MORE
It's bittersweet but I hope it works out for both sides. Freddy was a bit of an enigma... MORE
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Has Fredy Montero played his last game for Sounders FC?

It's possible, as reports Thursday indicated that Seattle's all-time leading scorer is set to join Colombian club Millonarios on loan.

FutbolRed.com, a Colombian website, first reported that MLS approved a six-month loan that could extend to a full year and includes a $4.5 million option to buy. Montero, according to the report, still has to come to terms with Millonarios.

Soccer By Ives then reported that the Sounders had also agreed to terms of the loan, which has been rumored for a few weeks.

The Sounders declined to comment.

This particular move would be attractive to both Millonarios and Montero due to the team's upcoming involvement in Copa Libertadores, a prestigious tournament for the top club teams in South America.

Millonarios, the reigning Colombian league champion, would be able to boost its squad before the competition while Montero could improve his chances for an increased role with the Colombian national team and perhaps a transfer to a European club if he has a good performance in the high-profile event. Both have been stated goals for the 25-year-old forward during his time in Seattle.

The Sounders, who have been constrained by the salary cap this offseason, would gain financial relief and, in the case of a transfer, flexibility in signing another designated player.

Due to Montero's skill and desire to play abroad, the clock has seemingly been counting down on an eventual departure since he signed with the expansion Sounders in 2009. He even admitted before last season that he didn't think he'd have stayed in Seattle for so long. Rumors of interest from teams worldwide have been commonplace over the years.

Montero quickly became a face of the Sounders FC franchise, scoring twice in the team's first game, a 3-0 home win against New York. He recorded double-digit goals in all four MLS seasons, including a personal-best 13 in 2012.

Overall, Montero has 60 goals in all competitions — MLS, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. The team's next-highest scorer, midfielder Steve Zakuani, has 19.

Things didn't end so well for Montero last season, however. He was the first player subbed off the field in both of Seattle's games in the Western Conference finals against eventual champion Los Angeles.

In 10 career playoff games, Montero had no goals, and spells of inconsistency — both in production and effort — have also caused some impatience from fans and within the team.

The Sounders have a number of dynamic players on offense who could help ease the loss of Montero, including forward Eddie Johnson, designated players Mauro Rosales and Christian Tiffert, and midfielders Mario Martinez and Zakuani.

NOTE

Adam Johansson has been called up by Sweden's national team for the King's Cup tournament in Thailand on Jan. 23-26.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com.

On Twitter @joshuamayers

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