Fredy Montero scored twice against his former Sounders team on Friday night, handing them a 2-1 defeat
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Onetime Sounders great Fredy Montero fulfilled some promise for the hometown fans while also keeping one made to his former team.
Montero had promised not to celebrate Friday night if he scored against the Sounders squad he still leads in all-time franchise goals with 47. That was a vow the new Vancouver Whitecaps striker had to work on not once, but twice, after scoring both his team’s goals in beating the Sounders 2-1.
The star forward, who played in Seattle from 2009 to 2012, said the noncelebrating was a message of respect to Sounders fans “for all that they gave me the four years that I was there.’’
The snakebit Sounders, for whom scoring has been difficult, countered with an 89th-minute Will Bruin strike but couldn’t come all the way back.
“I don’t think we should be in those situations where we’re having to push numbers forward,’’ said Bruin, a 65th-minute substitution. “I think we can start out a little quicker and be a little more aggressive in the final third and put ourselves into a little better situation coming into the last 15 minutes.’’
As they did in Montreal a month ago, the Sounders nearly overcame a 2-0 deficit in the closing minutes. Clint Dempsey, who’d hit a crossbar and a post earlier, unleashed a shot in the box in the dying seconds that had Whitecaps keeper David Ousted beaten.
But defender Kendall Waston, standing right on the goal line — some protesting Sounders felt he might have been behind it — blocked the shot and cleared the ball. The crowd of 22,122 at B.C. Place Stadium breathed a sigh of relief as the final whistle sounded.
Montero’s not-celebrating pledge was tested in the 65th minute and again in the 80th minute.
“It was hard,’’ Montero said. “Especially when all of my teammates came to me. They were saying a bunch of comments that made me very happy.’’
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer said he’d consider starting Bruin as he looks at ways for his 1-2-3 team to convert earlier on. “All the possession in the world doesn’t do any good unless you can score,’’ he said.