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Transfer ordeal behind him, Monteiro looking ahead to second season with the Union

After spending last season on loan, Monteiro’s move to Philadelphia became permanent in January

Photo by Matt Ralph

CHESTER, PA — A month after his permanent transfer to the Philadelphia Union was finalized, Jamiro Monteiro isn’t too interested in rehashing the details of an ordeal that took up the better part of the past 12 months.

“I don’t know Metz, I only know Philly now,” Monteiro said in an interview with reporters after training on Tuesday. “I don’t want to talk about Metz.”

FC Metz loaned the Cape Verde international to the Union last season — it was actually two six-month loans — and it took until early January for the book to close on his time at Metz, which saw him make just three appearances in the two seasons before coming to the U.S. The transfer fee broke a team record at $2 million and he joined Alejandro Bedoya as the team’s second designated player.

Monteiro said Tuesday that the trust he had from Technical Director Chris Albright, who made the initial contact with him and Sporting Director Ernst Tanner was what initially drew him to the team.

“Since the first moment I came in I got a lot of trust from Chris, from Ernst they (were) really believing in me, that’s why I made the decision to come back,” he said, later adding that head coach Jim Curtin’s trust had also factored into his decision.

“To be honest, we were talking the whole season long since I came here about signing a contract here,” Monteiro said. “It was difficult sometimes, but I talked a lot with the coach and he always told me just to focus on the games and everything will be alright. I’m happy I made this decision.”

Monteiro will wear the No. 10 jersey this season for the first time in his career — he was No. 35 last season and several years prior — but the significance of the number change may have more to do with him accepting the added pressure as a more permanent fixture in the team now that he’s under contract through 2022.

Position-wise he’ll likely line up more as the No. 8 where he thrived last year, but will alternate with Brenden Aaronson when the situation calls for him to push higher up the pitch.

“We kind of switch around, we like to get the ball, go wherever to get it,” Aaronson told reporters Tuesday. “I think that it doesn’t matter during the game you have defensive responsibilities if you’re the 8 you have to play deeper, you have to get out to the ball so I think just being careful in the defensive responsibility instead of just floating around.”

Unsurprisingly, Aaronson is looking forward to renewing their partnership in the midfield for another season.

“He’s an unbelievable player and I love playing with him, we do a lot of one-twos and stuff like that,” he said. “Him coming back really helps out the club.”