Whitecaps acquire Fredy Montero as Designated Player on one-year loan

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

A Seattle legend is headed...to Vancouver.

Fredy Montero is back in MLS, and back in the Northwest – just not where you may have expected him to be.

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced on Wednesday that they have acquired Montero as a Designated Player on a one-year loan from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda.

The move fills a major void up front for the Whitecaps, and marks the return of one of MLS’ most exciting players in the modern era. Montero was a three-time MLS All-Star with the Seattle Sounders, with whom he scored 47 goals and registered 34 assists in 119 regular-season appearances from 2009 to 2012. He remains as Seattle’s all-time leading scorer in all competitions with 60 goals.

Montero left Seattle on loan to Colombian side Millonarios FC in 2013 before moving to Portuguese giants Sporting CP on laon. Most recently, he played for Tianjin Ted, scoring nine goals and adding three assists in 29 games.

But recent rule changes in China reduced the number of foreign players per match allowed on the field, leaving the likes of Montero and other big-money signings at a crossroads.

'I'm really excited, so happy, and feel blessed," added Montero. "I was looking forward to once again playing in Major League Soccer and I am so thankful to Whitecaps FC for giving me this opportunity. I can't wait to step onto the field, in front of the great Vancouver supporters, and start scoring goals."

Vancouver agreed to pay Minnesota United FC $100,000 in General Allocation Money in 2018, $125,000 in Targeted Allocation Monday in 2018 and give up an international roster spot through the end of 2017 in exchange for the No. 1 spot in the allocation order needed to acquire Montero.