Posts Tagged ‘Whitecaps Fredy Montero’

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Image: Courtesy Santo Coffee Co. 

VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s been an up and down season for Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Fredy Montero. In 28 games this season, Montero has scored 6 goals, and added 2 assists. It’s a far cry from the 13 goals he scored with Vancouver in 2017. While Montero has struggled to find consistency on the pitch, he has found success away from the pitch.

Santo Coffee Co. opened it’s doors on Sunday, August 11, 2019 in Seattle’s, Roosevelt neighbourhood. Montero, his wife Alexis, are co-owners, along with Mikhail, and Jessica Ghyvoronsky.

“The grand opening, we had a lot of people,” Montero explained to Har Journalist following training in Vancouver. “We have social media, and thank god, I have good follower base in Seattle. They came up to check it out, from all over Washington,  Olympia, Bellingham, and they love it. New customers are showing up everyday, and we continue to serve coffee to the people that are coming daily. It’s a pleasure for us to serve them.”

As a native of Colombia, Montero and coffee go hand, in hand. He has always been a coffee enthusiast, but it wasn’t until his first tenure with Vancouver, that he and his wife had an inkling that opening up a coffee shop was what they wanted to do.

“We started going to different coffee shops,” Montero explained. “That’s where we got the idea. My wife and I have been coffee lovers since we were in Seattle. It’s been part of our lives having a break away from the kids at a coffee shop, and enjoying a good coffee.”

As someone who has spent his entire life, eating, sleeping, and breathing football all over the world, Montero needed to get an expert on board. Once the idea was born, he needed to find someone to help make his dream a reality.

“I don’t know everything, but that’s part of the thing,” Montero explained. “The manager (Mikhail Ghyvoronsky), is the barista, and our part owner. He was the one that was in town, searching for places, and trying to get a good deal. Financially we had the opportunity to get other people that came with my wife and I. It was a good way to start our first business. Sometimes you need people that know the path. We’re following those mentors. Thank god that everything is going well.”

The 32-year-old, Montero needed to find the best coffee beans. His background in his home country helped him find the best coffee beans on the planet. Colombian coffee roaster, Devoción was exactly what he was looking for.

“We are blessed enough to have mountains in Colombia, a different climate, and weather where the coffee can taste different. Yes, our coffee is one-hundred percent Colombian. We’re trying to get the best harvest in town. We’re working with one of the best roasters in the U.S.A – It takes ten days from the farmers to the roastery. They roast it, and within a week it’s in the coffee shop.

It’s the freshest coffee that you can find in the U.S.A.” Montero proudly said.

The hottest drink on the menu at Santo Coffee Co. coincides with the summer season.

“At the moment ice coffee, because of the weather,” Montero revealed. “We’re also selling a lot of panela latte, which is our signature latte. It’s originally from Colombia, it’s like a sugar cane. It’s like a brick, and then you melt it or grind it. It’s really sweet, it’s a different flavour. We are happy that people are accepting this new latte.”

The grind of traveling back and forth from Seattle during Whitecaps FC off-days hasn’t taken a toll on Montero. Santo Coffee Co. isn’t the only reason why Montero has been making the three-hour journey down Interstate-5.

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“I try to be a professional and travel when I can,” Montero explained. “My wife has been a huge help, sometimes she has to go. Also, the main reason we go a lot to Seattle is to attend our church. Our church is in Seattle, and we have a good relationship with all our friends there. We are always trying to make it, because for five years we were away in Portugal. It’s our responsibility that we have as Christians.”

As you might expect, Montero made sure to include the most important part of any coffee shop.

“Yeah, wifi. We have wifi.” Montero laughed.

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VANCOUVER, B.C – It’s been trying times for Vancouver Whitecaps FC as they sit at the bottom of the MLS western conference with 20 points from a 4-10-8 record this season. Winless in their last eight matches across all competitions, Vancouver will try to snap a four-match MLS losing skid when they face the San Jose Earthquakes (9-7-4) at B.C. Place on Saturday night.

Whitecaps FC have been outscored 14-1 in losses to Seattle, Los Angeles FC, Kansas City, and New England. Vancouver looks like a lost team that has no chemistry, confidence, or sense of direction. The simplest passes go a miss, crosses aren’t connecting, and defensive miscues have left goalkeepers Max Crepeau, and Zac MacMath out to dry.

Does the team have the quality within themselves to snap out of the funk they’re in?

“I think we do, I think we do,” Montero told Har Journalist following training. “I’m here everyday with the guys. I know how important it is to build the confidence in training, and then showing that in the games. I know that it’s been a tough time. Especially to create chances, and score goals. I believe that this is the process, and we have to believe. At the end of the day, it’s about winning games. It’s more important to score one goal, it doesn’t matter who.”

Montero has been in and out of the starting lineup. Vancouver’s leading scorer, hasn’t found the form that he showed in 2017, when he scored 13 goals for Whitecaps FC. Montero has scored 6 goals this season, four from the penalty spot.

“Creating chances is step number one,” Montero explained. “When we have opportunities, bury them. We need to win, it doesn’t matter who scores the goals.”

The 31-year-old has played a combined 53 minutes in the last three MLS matches. He has just one attempt on target for a team that’s often starved to create offensive scoring chances.

Despite his reduction in minutes, Montero remains positive, and as focused as ever.

“A technical decision with all the coaching staff,” Montero said of his role from the bench. “All the travelling, and the amount of games we have in one month. I’m here to help, whenever I’m required to. When I’m called into the starting eleven, I will. If I’m sat on the bench, I will support my teammates. I know that we have a long way to go still.”

Far too often we’ve watched Whitecaps FC crumble under adversity. If an early goal is conceded or a decision doesn’t go Vancouver’s way, the kitchen sink falls in. Whitecaps FC are a fragile team, that’s void of confidence.

The Colombian international knows how challenging it has been to build team confidence.

“It can happen,” Montero said. “We have young players. As I said before, I’ve been through many good teams, teams that are playing for relegation, which is a lot of pressure. It doesn’t happen here. I’m telling you, one way or another. We’re going to take the next step, and win a game.”

If you are expecting Whitecaps FC to make a move on the transfer market, don’t hold your breath. Vancouver had some expensive irons in the fire, that fell through. Nothing looks to be imminent now.

Head Coach Marc Dos Santos is prepared to take the criticism now, for the future, and long term development of the club.

“There are decisions that are good to make now, and others that we just have to take the bullets. Be strong knowing that people get upset with results. I have to stick with the plan of improving this club. getting the best players possible into this club. If that means that I have to suffer today. It’s good, I’m made for that. There’s no problem.” Dos Santos said.

The MLS transfer window will remains open until August 8, but Whitecaps FC are firing blanks.

“Closer? Right now, no.” Dos Santos revealed.

If Whitecaps FC are going to right the ship, it will have to come from the squad of players already assembled.

“We are professional soccer players,” Montero said. “We have to pull our heads up. We know that we need to bring all the energy. This game is the most important, we need to win.”

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my Whitecaps FC vs Toronto FC report.

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Whitecaps FC vs Toronto FC at B.C. Place in Vancouver on May 31, 2019. Photo: Har Journalist 

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Russell Teibert. Photo: Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Whitecaps FC are back on the road, as the team gets set for a pair of matches away from B.C. Place. Vancouver will take on Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, May 18, and then it’s a battle against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, May 22.

Vancouver is coming off a 1-0 loss to Atlanta United FC on Wednesday night at B.C. Place. At the minute, Whitecaps FC sit 8th in the western conference with a record of 3-6-3, 12-points. Sporting Kansas City remain in 11th position with a 10-points, from a 2-4-4 record. The home side will be looking to snap an eight-match winless streak.

Whitecaps FC are no strangers to long distance travel. Playing on the west coast often means long road trips across the continent. Vancouver has already had three trips into the central and eastern time zones, traveling to Houston, Chicago, and Orlando. That often requires flying commercial with a layover before reaching the final designation.

Over the years, players have developed a flying routine. Some players prefer the window seat, over the aisle, and almost no player wants to be stuck in the dreaded middle seat.

“I love the aisle, so I can get up and go to the bathroom when I feel like it.” Fredy Montero explained.

“I’m an aisle guy,” Jake Nerwinski said. “I like to be able to get out. I like to lean my legs out into the aisle a little bit.”

“If it’s a long trip, I like the aisle,” Russell Teibert revealed. “If it’s quick trip, which we rarely have here in Vancouver, I like the window.”

“My favourite situation is a nice aisle seat, and I sleep as much as possible,” Andy Rose revealed. “Our last plane trip, we were on United, and we had a couple of Premier League games on, which was great. That’s probably the ideal situation. A good sleep, good book, and time to relax.”

“I’m always window seat,” Doneil Henry admitted. “I don’t like to be bothered, I don’t like to be bumped by carts when I’m in the aisle seat. Put me by the window, and I just sleep.”

“Middle, love the middle,” Scott Sutter joked. “I love being crammed in. No, no. Aisle all day, I prefer the aisle, I like to stretch my legs a little bit.”

There are a variety of choices to pass the time away on a long flights. You can try and get some kip, read a book, play cards, listen to music, watch a movie, or talk to your seat mate. Athletes usually like to rest up, relax, and watch a movie.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC players are no different.

“Watch movies, that I can’t watch at home with my kids,” Felipe told reporters at Vancouver International Airport. “I like to be quiet, watch movies, and enjoy myself. Anything on iTunes, and Netflix.”

“Mostly watch films, and see what new films are out,” Sutter said. “I’ve got my iPad, and a good book at the moment.”

“Soccer books, at the moment I’m reading a great book about Barcelona,” Rose explained. “That’s incredibly interesting. I read a lot about different coaches, managers, player autobiographies, all those sorts of things.”

“I try to sleep,” Nerwinski added. “I try to rest as much as I can. When I get a little stiff, I usually do a little walking down the aisle, until a flight attendant will yell at me to sit down. I watch Netflix. Right now I’m watching Designated Survivor, it’s pretty good.”

“Sleep, I like to sleep,” Henry said. “I don’t do anything other than sleep. Sometimes I download a couple of Netflix. I’ve been watching Imposters. I’m on the second season.”

“I don’t sleep, that’s for sure,” Montero revealed. “I get nervous when the plane is shaking, for those two seconds, five seconds. I’m praying about it, because I honestly don’t like it. Most of the time, I watch movies, read books, and talk to my teammates.”

There’s always one individual who is persistent in chatting up his teammates while they’re doing their own thing. If there’s a lengthy travel day ahead for Whitecaps FC, there’s one player that teammates would prefer they don’t sit beside.

“Ali (Adnan), Ali’s annoying.” Henry said.

“Normally I sleep, but Ali (Adnan) has been bothering me on the flights,” Teibert explained. “He likes to take pictures of me. I’ve kind of got to sleep with one eye open, now.”

“Joaquin (Ardaiz).” Nerwinski revealed. “I’ve sat next to him two or three times. He loves the middle (seat), which is a very odd thing. He likes to talk to everybody. If you sit next to him, you’re not going to get much sleep.”

“Yeah, Fredy Montero. He just does not shut-up on the flights,” Sutter laughed. “It’s crazy, he just wants to speak about everything. No, no, he’s great. If I can choose anyone, it would be next to Fredy.”

“Fortunately, we’re all sort of spread out on the plane,” Rose revealed. “I think we do a great job of trying to get away from the middle seats. Usually you’re sat by yourself. A few guys like to play cards together, and what not. For the most part, so far, I haven’t been hassled.”

Whitecaps FC will look to re-group in the friendly skies as they prepare for a week on the road. Vancouver will stay and train in Kansas City following Saturday’s match at Children’s Mercy Park. Vancouver will fly home on Thursday, May 23.

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Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Portland Timers FC on Friday, May 10, 2019 at B.C Place. Photo: Har Journalist.

VANCOUVER, B.C – Vancouver Whitecaps FC have jumped ahead of the pack into a western conference playoff spot after a 1-0 win over Cascadia rival, Portland Timbers FC. Fredy Montero’s third goal of the season was enough to earn all three points in front of a crowd of 18,356 at B.C. Place.

After struggling to find his form, and consistent minutes earlier this season. the 31-year-old, Montero, has now scored in back to back matches. Montero is now locked in and scoring. While some strikers might try and shake up their routine, Montero hasn’t done that.

“No, the same,” Montero explained to Har Journalist, post-match. “I try to work hard, I know my value. I know what I can do to help the team, and I always try to believe in every single training session. I’m honest to myself, and I have a lot of experience. I always try to be focused because there are so many good players on this team. We need to be ready, because we need all the players ready to go, to win games.”

Vancouver is now 2-0-1 in their last three matches at B.C. Place.

Whitecaps FC improve to 3-5-3, (12-points) on the season, and Portland slips to 3-5-2, (11-points). Vancouver now sits momentarily in the 7th western conference playoff spot.

“The first 20 minutes of the team were fantastic in every sense,” Coach Marc Dos Santos told reporters post-match. “Possession, creating, scoring, mobility in the attack. Then Portland had a little bit more possession. Blanco and Valeri were able to find some pockets between lines and that created a little bit of instability. The game became very broken when we tried to exploit some things in transition. They won the ball, then we lost the second ball, it became broken. The last 10 minutes of the first half, we were able to settle again. In the second half, we knew they would come hard. This was the team that was in the MLS Cup final. They’re a good team and it’s normal when you play good teams that they come at you. We were able to be solid, we were able to show commitment between everybody, and in transition, we had plays that were exciting and could’ve finished with a goal. Overall, I think with what we did in the 90 minutes, we deserve the three points against a very good team coming from three wins in a row so the guys did a very good job.”

Whitecaps FC’s leading scoring was in a philosophical mood post-match.

“It’s always good when we win,” Montero explained. “But it doesn’t mean we are the best team, so that’s why, when sometimes the results are not the best, we also think we aren’t the worst team in the league. We need to keep moving forward, and believing in the process.” 

It didn’t take long for Vancouver to open the scoring. Montero showed his brilliance to control the ball, and volley a striker top corner on Timbers keeper, Steve Clark. Russell Teibert setup Montero, and Vancouver was ahead early in the 9′ minute.

“The goal,” Montero recalled. “I just remember when, Inbeom tried to play the ball to me. One of the Portland defenders touched the ball, and then Rusty (Russell Teibert) with a beautiful assist. I give all the credit to him. With one touch, he gave me the ball, and put me one on one with the goalkeeper. My first touch was from my right, to my left. I shot really hard on the first post. Thank god that was a good goal. I was expecting the ball to go that hard on the goalkeeper, especially with my left foot.”

Whitecaps FC had all sorts of early pressure on the visitors, and could have easily been ahead by a bigger margin. Ali Adnan had a ball sent into the box, that was dangerously headed on to the Timbers crossbar by Bill Tuiloma. Moments later, Adnan was unmarked at the side of the Timbers goal, only to send his effort high above the target.

For the third consecutive Whitecaps FC home match. The supporters groups, Southsiders, and Curva Collective, along with many other fans, walked out of the match, in protest, at the 35′ minute. The visiting Portland Timbers Army also joined the walk out in solidarity.

Portland came out strong to start the second half, and looked to find an equalizer with consistent pressure. Despite dominating the half with 27 shots attempted, and five on target. Vancouver’s defensive structure did not break. Doneil Henry was a force!!

“I thought that we had very good moments,” Portland Coach, Giovanni Savarese explained. “Unfortunately, there were a few times in the first half that they were able to find the space and they capitalized in one opportunity. They defended well, I thought that the guys just worked very hard. I mean, everyone put everything that they could. We had chances, we attacked, we possessed the ball. I thought that we dominated the match, but credit to them, they defended very well and the goalkeeper made some spectacular saves.”

Whitecaps FC’s Max Crepeau, stood on his head, and made several terrific saves to keep Vancouver ahead. Crepeau finished with five saves to earn his third clean sheet of the season. The 25 year-old, Crepeau, gave all the props to his back-line.

“There’s the back-four, man,” Crepeau said of his defence. “They’re really solid. We saw it tonight, we saw it last weekend. It’s always like that, the work ethic of the boys and the mentality. Balls in my area, the other guy is not getting it. The mentality of the boys is fantastic. We need to keep going on this one, because it’s a big part of our game, the defensive aspect.”

It will be a quick turn around for Vancouver as they host former Whitecap, Brek Shea, and Atlanta United FC, on Wednesday, May 15 at B.C. Place.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Starting XI: Max Crepeau, Ali Adnan, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Jake Nerwinski; Russell Teibert, Jon Erice(C), InBeom Hwang, 65 (Andy Rose); Lass Bangoura, 75 (Brett Levis), Fredy Montero, 87 (Joaquin Ardaiz), Lucas Venuto. 4-3-3

Portland Timbers FC Starting XI: Steve Clark; Zarek Valentin, 83 (Julio Cascante), Bill Tuiloma, Larrys Mabiala, Jorge Moreira, 83 (Lucas Melano); Sebastian Blanco, Diego Chara, Cristhian Paredes, Andres Flores, 73 (Andy Polo); Jeremy Eboisse, Diego Valeri(C). 4-4-2

VANCOUVER, B.C – Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my story on the friendship between Fredy Montero and Nani.

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VANCOUVER, B.C — Please visit Pro Soccer USA for my Whitecaps FC vs Sounders FC report.

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