Fredy Montero’s association with Seattle Sounders FC appears to be near its end.
General manager Adrian Hanauer confirmed Thursday that negotiations are well under way on a deal that would send Montero to Sporting Lisbon of Portugal.
“I will confirm it’s not a rumor,” Hanauer said. “But nothing is done.”
Hanauer said terms of the deal are being finalized. He declined to discuss what the sale could mean financially to the Sounders.
Montero, 25, joined Seattle in its 2009 expansion season and led that team with 12 goals. Over the next three seasons he added 10, 12 and 13 goals, adding up to a club-high 47.
Before this season, he was loaned to Millonairos in his native Colombia, where he has seven goals in 25 games. Reports surfaced Thursday that he could be closing in on a five-year deal with Sporting Lisbon. All three
teams are involved in the negotiations, along with Montero’s agent.
“The Portuguese league is a good league in Europe,” Hanauer said. “Sporting has played Champions League somewhat regularly (and has a) lot of visibility in the league.”
Hanauer expressed his appreciation for what Montero has contributed to the Sounders.
“I feel like he was a kid when he got here,” Hanauer said. “On the field, I’m not sure you’d ever say he was a kid because as soon as he got here he was influential: scored the first goal in the history of the franchise, scored a lot of big goals and spectacular goals. I guess I’m proud that he was a big part of the franchise and that he developed into a really good young man while he was here.”
Meanwhile, midfielder Brad Evans – another Sounders original – said Thursday that he is playing through the final season of his current contract.
Evans returned to training after being given a few days off after his World Cup qualifying run with the U.S. national team.
With his career apparently ascending, he was asked about his own interest in taking his game to a bigger stage. He said he would like to stay but also is open to playing in Europe.
Neither Evans nor Sounders forward Eddie Johnson was among the 23 players named to the U.S. national team by coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Either or both could be added after the competition’s group phase. Gold Cup matches between Panama-Martinique and Mexico-Canada will be played July 11 at CenturyLink Field. The U.S. will open the competition vs. Belize on July 9 in Portland. The Sounders trained Thursday under first assistant Brian Schmetzer. Coach Sigi Schmid, who had partial knee-replacement surgery Tuesday, is expected to attend training Friday. The club waived defender Ashani Fairclough. Fairclough, 20, was in his first season with the club. He made no MLS appearances but logged 214 minutes in four MLS Reserve League matches. Fairclough is from Jamaica, and his departure gives the Sounders two open international roster spots.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt