The Colombia Men’s National Team and AS Monaco all held their collective breath as star forward Radamel Falcao crumbled to the pitch holding his knee. He immediately signaled for medical assistance and was eventually stretchered off the field of Monaco’s Coupe de France win over fourth-division Monts d’Or Azergues Foot. While the injury has not be diagnosed yet, it is feared to be a serious knee injury that could jeopardize Falcao’s chance to participate in the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
Colombia manager Jose Pekerman will now have to consider how he replace Falcao on the roster; his answer may be playing in Portugal right now in former Seattle Sounders FC striker Fredy Montero.
Montero, 26, is having a breakout season for Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon pacing the club with 16 goals in 19 appearances during the 2013-14 campaign. This is no fluke either as Montero has scored at least ten goals for his club in each of his last eight seasons with five different clubs in three different countries. His last appearance for Colombia was back in 2009 during his first year in Seattle. With the production that he is having over in Europe, it is a wonder why he has not earned another look from Pekerman.
In his first seven league games this season, Montero scored nine goals. That production alone has been better than the other strikers that Pekerman has been using for Colombia during the 2013 portion of World Cup Qualifying; those players are 28-year-old Teofilo Gutierrez of River Plate, 27-year-old Jackson Martinez of FC Porto, 27-year-old Carlos Bacca of Sevilla, 26-year-old Carlos Darwin Quintero of Santos Laguna and 22-year-old Luis Muriel of Udinese who boast a combined 22 goals for the National Team.
Colombia is still the favorite to win their group in Brazil playing against Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan, but their task will be that much tougher without Falcao. Now may be the time for Pekerman to make a change in his concrete squad plans and give Fredy Montero the chance to shine that he has earned.