A Seattle Sounder since day 1, Osvaldo Alonso has wrapped up his decade with the Rave Green. The 33 year old officially signed with Minnesota United this week marking the end of an era, but the start of a new one elsewhere.
For many Sounders fans, myself included, Osvaldo Alonso is the Sounder’s version of Steve Largent or Edgar Martinez. While unlike that pair, he will play elsewhere, Ozzie is the blue collar workhorse worried less about his own pride and personal glory but fought hard to keep the teams, that he played for, together. He was the constant, the calm in the storm, the quiet leader who you saw do what is right and it made you want to follow.
It was 10 years ago that Ozzie set roots here in Seattle and led the Rave Green to an unprecedented 10 straight years of playoff appearances. In that time, Ozzie was the face of the organization that won countless US Cups, a Supporters Shield and an MLS title.
“I feel fortunate to have been able to coach such a tremendous player,” Coach Brian Schmetzer said. “We watched his game evolve, his influence grow to where he eventually led us as captain to our first MLS Cup. I want to personally thank him for his play for the last 10 years. We will miss ‘El Corazon.’”
Born in Cuba, the future MLS Hall of Famer made a name for himself as a shutdown defensive midfielder. While the stats don’t speak for themselves, the thankless job of stopping the opponents top scorers was on his shoulders. Ozzie is a 4x MLS All-Star, 2012 Best 11, and his 339 appearances are 2nd only to Zach Scott for the most in Sounders history.
“From the get-go, Ozzie looked out for me,” Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan said. “I felt that he would be a very good influence on me, personally and also as a player. He is a leader, a dynamic player, and just overall what a professional should be. I always viewed him as a complete package and was personally very excited to play alongside him and watch his habits.”