Jamiro Monteiro suiting up for the Philadelphia Union seemed like it might never happen again until the announcement was made just before game day rosters were announced on Wednesday that he was back with the team.
And what a pleasant surprise it was as the lone designated player on the Union’s roster reminded fans just how important a player he has been when he came off the bench and helped orchestrate a spell of positive play that eventually led to Alejandro Bedoya’s game-winner.
There were still a lot of lingering questions about his return. He was kept out of the lineup for the three previous league games because of ongoing “transfer talks” that were only made public after the first match he missed.
In his own words, Monteiro added some hope to the fanbase he might not be leaving so hastily in his post-game comments.
“My family is finally back. It gives me a good feeling,” he said. “It was long week. I’m happy to be here.”
But the statement from Sporting Director Ernst Tanner released earlier in the day said that “options are still being explored” for his transfer out.
“The transfer market is fluid and while interest remains for Jamiro, no offers in the transfer window came to fruition,” Tanner said in the statement. “It was decided it was best for both sides to have him reintegrate with the team for training and matches at this time.”
Union head coach Jim Curtin struck a similar chord when asked Friday how long Monteiro can be expected to still be with the team. The Cape Verde international signed a three-year contract ahead of the 2020 season with a club option for a fourth year.
“It’s gonna be game by game but like I said before in the press conference we’re certainly a better team with him here,” Curtin said Friday. “I’m gonna use him as much as possible as long as he’s here. He’s a Philadelphia Union player and it’ll continue that way until I’m told otherwise.”
The Union plays CF Montreal tonight at Subaru Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. and the match will be broadcast live on PHL17 and PhiladelphiaUnion.com locally and on ESPN+ for out-of-market fans.