It turns out Osvaldo Alonso really was at West Ham United on one-week training stint. The Sounders now say that he's back in Seattle and that they expect him to be ready for the start of training camp on Jan. 21.
Considering almost all the Sounders-related news over the past few days has been of the outgoing variety, this should come as a rather massive relief. As much as the Sounders could have used the allocation money that would have come their way if Alonso had been transferred, he's arguably the most irreplaceable player on the roster. Alonso's departure most likely would have been followed by a rather drastic change in tactics, as one player should not be expected to replace his contributions.
One imagines that this will not be the last transfer rumor we hear about Alonso, though. He has developed into arguably the best defensive midfielder in MLS and has improved his offensive game every season. It seems only a matter of time before someone snaps up the 27-year-old Cuban.