Osvaldo Alonso's red card has been rescinded and can play against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, the league announced on Tuesday. This marks the second time this season that the Seattle Sounders have won an appeal, meaning they can still challenge at least two more red cards. Obafemi Martins also had a red card rescinded.
Almost immediately after getting the red card, there seemed to be a strong sense that it would be go this way. The card actually wasn't even issued until the play on which it occurred had been allowed to be completed and there was a general sense of confusion as to the nature of the offense. After the game, referee Sorin Stoica only said that there was "contact above the shoulder." Replays of the incident between Alonso and San Jose Earthquakes defender Dan Gargan only showed a shoving match with no blatant "violent conduct."
The review board was apparently similarly befuddled, as they ruled that "the contact Alonso made with Gargan did not reach the required threshold for violent conduct, i.e brutal or excessive force."
Having Alonso available helps relieve what would have been a potentially precarious situation in the central midfield. If Alonso hadn't been able to play, Servando Carrasco would have been the only healthy player on the Sounders roster who has started as a central midfielder this season. Although the Sounders seem to be holding out some hope that Brad Evans will be able to return to training on Thursday, he, Andy Rose, Shalrie Joseph and Alex Caskey are all dealing with various injuries.
With Alonso in the lineup, the Sounders should be able to field a lineup that is at least based on how they want to play the game instead of simply patching holes. The big question will likely be who starts on the outside, where the competition is probably between Mauro Rosales, Marc Burch and Lamar Neagle for two spots.