*Let it be known, that this article is not an attempt to slander Mr. Montero or his accuser. I hope that this situation works itself out in short order and that if Mr. Montero is guilty, that he recieves the punishment for it. The focus of the articles it to examine the ramifications of the outcomes. Sorry if it offends someone.
As Alex wrote in his article, Seattle Sounders superstar Fredy Montero is under investigation for two counts of alleged sexual assault and one count of alleged stalking.
As of Friday, the initial reports on the matter were on their way to the King County prosecutors office for further review.
Montero, who was not present for the Sounders win in Toronto over the weekend, is possibly one of the first cases of an MLS star being accused, and potentially charged, with such a viral offense.
While the public officials will hash out whether or not Montero is guilty, an issue that should be looked at is how will this effect the image of the MLS.
She's Just After The Money
When an athlete is accused of a crime like sexual assault, people are often quick to comment that it had everything to do with their bank account.
"She is chasing his money and she thinks he will pay to hush her up."
No athlete wants that kind of press. Certainly no one in the position that Montero is in right now. He has been the bright, shining light of the Sounders young franchise.
However, there is the chance that this will all blow over.
Will it bring focus to the MLS? Possibly, and if it does, people will likely react skeptically, especially with the progression of the story.
When I learned about it from the friday edition of the World Soccer Daily podcast on Saturday afternoon, Montero was only suspected of stalking the girl.
However, at the time of writing, news sources are adding in the alleged sexual assault charges.
Observers will argue that the police were not paying attention to her, so she upped the severity of her allegations.
If this is proved to be true, it will shine positive light on the 21-year-old Colombian.
It is possible that this will bring more attention to not only him, but to the MLS as well. People will start to watch Sounders games to see how he plays, and to see if the fallout from the allegations will affect his performances.
This Could Get Bad
It is possible that Montero will be found liable for the crimes and this could go to trial.
The trial itself won't attract the national media. The boy isn't Michael Vick by any means.
However, it will get likely get strong coverage in at least Washington, and possibly down into California for the media. Football fans though, will likely turn an ear to the trial and pay a great deal of attention.
The mass public may take the trial in a horrible light.
"He was here to play and look how he abuses the privilege to play in America."
"How could he do such a thing? He should be kicked off the team."
Now, I will admit, these are stretches on what some may say, but for a league like the MLS that has finally started to see some penetration into the American sporting conscious, it can't be a good omen for things to come.
Sure, David Beckham draws fans, but let's face it, he's likely going to stay in Italy for a long time, and I doubt most people can tell you about Freddy Ljungberg.
Fans go for name and face recognition. If you have a player pulling something like this, it will create a bad mental image for the parent who is planing on taking the family to a Sounders game, or a Dynamo game, simply because of bias.
One player does it and we become wary of the league.
At the end of the day, the MLS is going to get press out of this. It's likely going to be a mix between good bad, and the weighting will be set when the allegations are investigated further.