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Player Profile: #3 Osvaldo Alonso

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In 2013 and 2012 he was the reader's choices as the most important player on the team. In 2015 he falls to third, without being a worse player.

Mike Russell Foto

Osvaldo Alonso is now a four-time All Star, was in the 2012 MLS Best XI, and was the 2012 Open Cup Player of the Tournament. His dual nicknames as el corazón and honey badger signify his importance to Seattle Sounders FC over the years. In 2015 the addition of Chad Marshall and Obafemi Martins' near MVP performance reduced Alonso's perceived value to the team, but not his skills.

Ozzie's value is most clearly signified when he was absent. The narrowest of losses to the LA Galaxy during the MLS Cup Playoffs of 2014 happened with only 74 minutes of the 180 by the best defensive midfielder in the league.

osvaldo alonso graphic

Offense:

Nine players completed a higher percentage of passes than Ozzie did in the 2014 MLS season. Combined they have 327 minutes and only 136 completed passes (what Ozzie does in two games). He is 18th in MLS for successful dribbles per game. He could be a really good box-to-box mid and maybe even a CAM, that's how good his ball skills are. If Ozzie has a weakness in the attack it is his propensity to shoot from distance. On set-pieces he sits outside of the area ready to pounce on scrap or restart the attack on a poor clearance.

Defense:

Yes.

There is no better ball winner in MLS. Some may tackle more, others win more balls in the air. Ozzie does all that quite well, but unlike other top CDMs in the league, commits fewer fouls than he suffers. If Alonso wants the ball, he will get it. Alonso always wants the ball. You may be surprised to learn that he is better at winning balls in the air than on the ground.

Physique:

Ozzie will use every part of his body to win the ball, including, but not limited to, his balls. He is quick, but not fast. His endurance is amazing.

Best Case 2015:

Alonso could return to the league's Best XI.