For all of the fanfare that the sounders receive for their incredible attendance and open cup success, Success in the MLS Playoffs has eluded them thus far. This might be the year for that to change and Osvaldo Alonso is the reason for that. As perhaps the best defensive central midfielder in the MLS, Alonso is the driving force behind the Sounders offence, and a big part of the success of stars such as Freddy Monters and Stave Zakawani.
He dominates the game and maintains possession of the ball, and controls the tempo unlike any other player on the sounder roster. In the preseason he signed a new contract with the sounders solidifying his spot in the organization, and this will potentially yield benefits on the pitch. As a 25 year old, Alonso is remarkably far along the growth curve for a center midfielder, he seems to have the presence of a much older and more seasoned veteran, however he has been a starter and key member of the sounders roster since they introduction to the MLS in 2009.
Last season the Sounders suffered a rash of injuries, including to Brad Evans, a potential US International and central midfield partner
with Alonso, so with more regularity this year, Alonso might be able to develop his offensive attack to couple with his stellar defensive play. In addition to his defensive midfield duties, Alonso has started to take free kicks for the sounders as well. This is a welcome addition to his responsibilities for sounders fans, who have suffered through a series of inept players wasting great offensive opportunities, going all the way back to part time soccer player and full time underwear model Freddy Ljungberg.
Of course no conversation of the Seattle Sounders can be completed without mentioning Kasey Keller, the seasoned international Goalkeeper. His leadership and skill is invaluable to the team and to younger player who need a role model for hard working professionals, but with this being his last season before he retires, Alonso’s will definitely be the moving force behind the Sounders for years to come.