With Fredy Montero’s loan to Colombian club Millonairos now official, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer was freed today to talk more about all of its components: Montero’s departure, his extended contract with the Sounders, the possibilities of his replacement, and the possibility of his return.
On the contract extension: There are two parts to that. A players’ transfer value is always related to the existing contract. So, Fredy only had two more years on his (previous) contract, so we just wanted to do it for that reason. And second, we see a world where Fredy could be back in Seattle, so we wanted to put ourselves in a position to have that happen some day, if it works out that way.
On bringing in a third designated player: The intention is to work on our roster and get it as strong as we can going into the season. We’re not counting on any specific structure to it, and we’re not knocking off any possibilities. So, it’s possible.
On the benefit to Montero: It gives him a chance to maybe be a little closer to the national team pool. It gets him a possibility of hopefully being seen and back on the radar there. … Fredy had wanted to try something new. We talked to him about that, over the years. This wasn’t like a quick decision. Millonairos is playing (in Copa Libertadores) — biggest tournament in the world, probably, other than European Champions League – and it gave him a chance to play that tournament.
If this makes club weaker for CCL: I think the intention is to be just as ready as we would have been. I think it would be naive to say with Fredy’s production and going out and losing Jeff Parke, that we’re the same team we were. But we’ve got our work cut out to get us ready for Champions League.
On if there’s some benefit it shaking up the club: It’s been four years. We haven’t quite gotten to the top of the mountain that we’re after. Certainly, re-engineering part of the roster is part of our thinking. It wasn’t a direct correlation where we thought, ‘OK, let’s move Fredy because that’s going to make us better.’ But it gives us an opportunity to prove that we can restructure the roster and get better, and that’s what we hope to and intend to do.