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Osvaldo Alonso 'a little bit' ahead of schedule

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Osvaldo Alonso has rejoined his Seattle Sounders teammates in Tucson, Ariz., but he's still probably going to miss at least the season opener.

"He's progressing a little bit ahead of where we thought he'd be," Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said on Monday. "We wanted him to be down here this week because he could do some stuff on the field and be with the group as well. We thought that was important. He'll continue to progress this week, we're not going to make predictions about where he'll be next week, but we'll see how it progresses."

Assuming Alonso isn't fully recovered from groin surgery in less than two weeks -- an extraordinarily safe bet -- that means one of Andy Rose or Micheal Azira will probably be starting in his place. Right now, it appears as though Azira has the inside track, as he's been getting most of Alonso's minutes in preseason and generally seems to have the more like-for-like skill set.