Sounders legend Alonso signs with Minnesota.

The reshuffling of the Seattle Sounders roster continued Thursday when it was announced that 33-year-old and former captain Osvaldo Alonso had signed with Minnesota United FC. The signing was a grim reminder to fans and players that at the end of the day that the Sounders like all MLS Clubs are about business. 

Alonso was the last player from the original Sounders MLS team and is the Sounders FC’s all-time leader in appearances, starts and minutes after signing with the club prior to its inaugural MLS season in 2009, helping Sounders FC to four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2009-2011, 2014), the 2014 Supporters’ Shield and the 2016 MLS Cup championship.

The San Cristobal, Cuba native is a five-time Team MVP (2010-2013, 2016), four-time MLS All-Star (2011-2014) and a 2012 MLS Best XI selection. His 339 appearances across all competitions are just 13 behind “Mr. Sounder” Zach Scott for the most in Sounders history dating back to 1974.

Alonso became eligible for MLS free agency after the expiration of his previous deal in Seattle, completing a 10-year run of service with the Rave Green. By joining Minnesota, Alonso is set to face Sounders FC twice in the upcoming campaign, first in Minneapolis on May 4 before a Decision Day matchup at CenturyLink Field on October 6. Major League Soccer unveiled Sounders FC’s full 2019 schedule earlier this week.

QUOTES FROM SOUNDERS PLAYERS  AND  FRONT OFFICE

SOUNDERS FC OWNER ADRIAN HANAUER
 
“In more than 40 years of Sounders history, very few players have been as memorable and impactful as Ozzie Alonso,” said Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer. “An MLS original with our club, his transition from USL player to first team captain has been a remarkable journey to observe, and I am proud of all that Ozzie accomplished within our club. After a decade with this organization and six major championships, all I can say is thank you.”
 
SOUNDERS FC GENERAL MANAGER & PRESIDENT OF SOCCER GARTH LAGERWEY
“We want to join with the rest of the Seattle soccer community in congratulating Ozzie on an incredible 10-season run with this organization,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Watching him play in this league over the past decade, I know how much he means to this city and the club’s fans. We wish him every success in Minnesota.”
 
SOUNDERS FC HEAD COACH BRIAN SCHMETZER
 
“We have seen many great players that have played for our club, but none have had as much influence as Osvaldo Alonso. His drive and determination to win was evident from the first day of training, his first game, and continued throughout all of the successful years he had with Sounders FC. I feel fortunate to have been able to coach such a tremendous player. 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.'”
 
SOUNDERS FC SPORTING DIRECTOR & VICE PRESIDENT OF SOCCER CHRIS HENDERSON
 
“Ozzie has been a tremendous member of our organization for the past 10 years. Despite his numerous accolades, I think his contributions on the field have gone somewhat underappreciated, as he has been one of the best players across the league during his time in Seattle. He has been integral to so many of the club’s most memorable moments and will always be a member of the Sounders family. I can’t thank him enough and wish him the best of luck going forward.”
 
SOUNDERS FC ASSISTANT COACH GONZALO PINEDA
 
“Coming to Seattle as a player in 2014, I formed a close relationship in midfield with Osvaldo, and have been proud to watch him grow both on and off the field in our time together as teammates and in my role as a coach. He is one of the best professionals I have had the honor of being around, and he will be missed within our club. To Osvaldo and his family, I say good luck in Minnesota and many, many congratulations on a fantastic career in Seattle.”
 
SOUNDERS FC MIDFIELDER CRISTIAN ROLDAN
 
“From the get-go, Ozzie looked out for me. 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. He’s an incredibly gifted player and will always be remembered as a Sounders legend.”
 
SOUNDERS FC GOALKEEPER STEFAN FREI
“‘We are not finished yet.’ There are many things you could remember Ozzie for, but those words will remain with me for the rest of my life. We had clawed out of a pretty dark hole in 2016. Ozzie’s phrase served as a daily reminder to keep pushing hard and reach for the skies. Leading with unrivaled passion, El Corazon should be a shining example for any aspiring Sounder. Good luck mein Freund, you’ll be missed.”
 
MINNESOTA  SPORTING DIRECTOR Manny Lagos on signing Alonso.
 
“We’ve just added a great leader and a warrior to our roster,” said  Lagos after announcing the Alonso signing. “It’ll be nice to have him on the field playing for us rather than against us. He’s going to come in and complement and develop our midfield core. He has high expectations for this club and this season. We believe he will add leadership, steel and grit, and will continue to mold a winning mentality on and off the field.
 

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