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Originally published January 9, 2013 at 8:02 PM | Page modified January 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM

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Fredy Montero says goodbye to Sounders fans

Fredy Montero posted a goodbye message to Sounders FC fans Wednesday, even though his expected loan to Colombia's Millonarios hasn't been made official yet.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Fredy Montero posted a goodbye message to Sounders FC fans on his Twitter account Wednesday. The 25-year-old forward is expected to join Colombia's Millonarios on loan in the near future, although the move hasn't been made official yet.

"Seattle you will always be in my heart and be my second home," Montero wrote. "I will be back one day! Until then I wish you all the best."

Montero, the franchise's all-time leading scorer, called his four seasons with the Sounders "unforgettable" and thanked the team's staff, coaches, players, and specifically the fans and general manager Adrian Hanauer.

Montero also changed his Twitter profile Wednesday to read "Ex Seattle Sounders FC" player.

The Sounders have declined to comment since reports of Montero's exit surfaced last week, but the owner of the rival Portland Timbers, Merritt Paulson, weighed in Wednesday on Twitter:

"I, for one, am very disappointed Montero is leaving the Sounders. He was a great villain for us. 100% sure that will be replaced though ... "

"Love him or hate him, give the guy credit for stepping up against the Timbers more often than not. I won't miss that ... "

Millonarios starts its preseason Thursday heading into defense of its Colombian league title and participation in the Copa Libertadores, a world-renowned tournament for the best teams in South America. If Montero plays well, he could earn a transfer to a top team in Europe.

NOTES

• The full 2013 MLS schedule was released Wednesday, and Sounders FC will be featured on national television 13 times (eight on the NBC Sports Network and five times on ESPN/ESPN2).

Seattle plays twice at home against Northwest rivals Portland (March 16 and Aug. 25) and Vancouver (June 8 and Oct. 9), and once on the road against each — a reverse of the 2012 schedule.

The Sounders will travel an estimated total of 39,420 miles in 2013 for league games, 1,800 fewer than last season.

The MLS Cup will be on Dec. 7 or 8, hosted by the finalist with the best record for the second year in a row. The upcoming season boasts the earliest start in league history (March 2) as well as its latest finish.

Hope Solo and Alex Morgan were among 55 players who will be allocated Friday to the NWSL's eight teams, including Seattle's Reign FC. Six of the 55 players featured for the star-studded Sounders Women last summer: U.S. nationals Solo, Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Sydney Leroux and Keelin Winters, and Mexico's Veronica Perez.

• Midfielder Osvaldo Alonso has returned to Seattle following a one-week training stint with West Ham United of the English Premier League. He is expected to be ready for the Jan. 21 start of Sounders FC's training camp.

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

On Twitter @joshuamayers

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