Montero thumbs up - at Portland
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Red-hot Montero finding his form: 'He does exactly what it says on the tin'

VANCOUVER, BC – Is it too early to start talking about the Golden Boot?

Yes. Definitely.

Of course, if you know me by now, that means I’m going to do it anyway. Here are the current goalscoring leaders after the first quarter of the young 2017 MLS season.

PLAYER

TEAM

GOALS

Erick Torres

Houston Dynamo

7

Cyle Larin

Orlando City SC

6

Diego Valeri

Portland Timbers

5

David Villa

New York City FC

5

Fanendo Adi

Portland Timbers

5

Christian Ramirez

Minnesota United FC

5

Josef Martinez

Atlanta United FC

5

Hector Villalba

Atlanta United FC

4

Justin Meram

Columbus Crew SC

4

Romain Alessandrini

LA Galaxy

4

Lee Nguyen

New England Revolution

4

CJ Sapong

Philadelphia Union

4

Fredy Montero

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

4

Nemanja Nikolic

Chicago Fire

4

Ola Kamara

Columbus Crew SC

4

Yura Movsisyan

Real Salt Lake

4

Like I said, it’s early.

After all, there are 16 players within three goals of each other. As you’ve surely figured out by now, we’re going to talk about Whitecaps FC striker Fredy Montero, who is one of those 16 players. Vancouver’s new Designated Player striker has four goals in seven appearances so far this season.

Not bad, right?

It’s even more impressive when you consider he’s only started four of those appearances as he works up to peak fitness (he didn’t have a preseason prior to joining Whitecaps FC in mid-February), and that all four goals have come in the last four matches – most recently, converting his own rebound on a penalty Saturday afternoon against Portland Timbers.

Montero is actually averaging 0.80 goals per 90 minutes, which is the seventh best goalscoring rate in MLS this season if you exclude those who have played less than 100 minutes.

See below.

PLAYER

TEAM

GOALS PER 90 MINUTES

Josef Martinez

Atlanta United FC

1.72

Will Bruin

Seattle Sounders FC

1.28

Erick Torres

Houston Dynamo

1.08

Cyle Larin

Orlando City SC

1.03

Roland Alberg

Philadelphia Union

0.91

Romell Quioto

Houston Dynamo

0.91

Fredy Montero

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

0.8

It’s a small sample, of course.

And it’s not necessarily a sustainable level of production (Sebastian Giovinco, for example, is averaging 0.67 goals per 90 during his MLS career), but it’s still an exciting prospect for Montero, who averaged 0.45 goals per 90 in his first four seasons in MLS with Seattle. During that period, the Colombian earned three MLS All-Star selections and never scored fewer than 10 goals in a season.

His career-high? 13. Can he set a new one in 2017?

Watch this space.

“There’s still a lot more to come from Fredy,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said last week. “I think he’ll be first to admit he’s still trying to get his peak fitness. And I can’t wait to have a fit Fredy Montero, because he does exactly what it says on the tin.” 

Next up for Montero and the ‘Caps is a trip out east to face longtime Canadian rival Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon at Stade Saputo (12 p.m. PT on CTV and TSN 1410 radio).