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Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker Fredy Montero at the NSDC at UBC on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Photo: Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, B.C – As the world waits for the return of sports, many athletes are keeping busy, and spending time with their loved ones who they wouldn’t necessarily see during a hectic season. Vancouver Whitecaps FC striker, Fredy Montero is making the most of his new found time with his family.

Montero’s career has taken him all over the world, and that has cut into quality time with his wife, Alexis and his two daughters, Vivienne, and Ruby. Self isolation and social distancing has resulted in Montero learning new chores at home.

“We’re chilling,” Montero explained to Har Journalist earlier this week. “You know my life, and my career, we’ve travelled a lot. It’s fun to be spending time together.

She’s (Alexis) showing me how to clean the house and under the bed. It’s difficult for my back. I’m learning how to bake, my kids are loving it. I bake muffins and cupcakes.”

When Montero isn’t working on his latest recipe, he has found a challenge that most parents can relate to.

“I honestly have been focused on home schooling,” Montero said. “Just keeping my girls entertained, that’s hard sometimes. I’m an okay teacher. Sometimes I reach my patience limit. I help my oldest daughter with math class. I can read some books, the easy ones. I’m an okay teacher, nothing crazy.”

Earlier this week, Whitecaps FC players were able to return to the National Soccer Development Centre for individual player workouts. May 12, was the first time Montero was able to kick a ball since the COVID-19 pandemic suspended MLS.

The first Whitecaps FC individual workout featured 16 players in separate groups.

Yordy Reyna and Jasser Khmiri did not participate.

Both players are in a 14 self isolation after breaking social distancing rules on May 5.

“I mean they know what they’re doing and I have no comment,” Montero said. “The action has consequences and they have to follow what the league and team told them to do.”

Montero is optimistic that MLS will return. In what capacity that is, that remains to be seen. A hub city in Orlando, Florida could potentially be a short term solution, but that faces plenty of hurdles before the beautiful game can kick off.

“Yeah, I think we have plenty of time,” Montero said. “Every single industry in North America is adapting to this pandemic. I believe MLS is going to do the same. It’s not going to be a long tournament as we’re use to, but we’re going to go back to the real games for sure.”

The feel of live matches is what fans are longing to see. The Bundesliga is set to return on Saturday without any fans in stadiums. The possibility of MLS players playing football in an empty stadium is a foreign concept to fans, but it’s not all that rare for players.

“Yes, I had the opportunity in 2013,” Montero revealed. “It was an official match on TV for three points on the line. It was something that didn’t look one hundred percent normal. The fact that the fans aren’t there, we need to adapt. That’s what we need to do to be safe. The people can watch the games at home. That’s what we need to do. We need to follow every other league in the world.”

Montero’s Seattle based Santo Coffee Co, has had to find a way to generate business during what has been an unprecedented time. While customers can no longer come in, sit down, and relax with a coffee, they can still order a cuppa to go.

“It’s hard honestly,” Montero said. “We are open only Saturday and Sunday (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) you can only takeaway. We are working with an app, and you can order ahead, just show up and get what you ordered. I would say I think we have loyal customers that have been supporting us through these hard times. For any small company it’s tough.”

It’s been a tough few months for all of us, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s certainly a long tunnel, but sports are slowly returning, and brighter days are ahead.

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