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Exposing Osvaldo Alonso was calculated risk, Sounders GM says

Garth Lagerwey indicated he was pleased that Alonso went unselected.

Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

TUKWILA, Wash. — Osvaldo Alonso was not selected in the MLS Expansion Draft on Tuesday, despite being made available. That’s exactly what the Seattle Sounders expected would happen, and GM Garth Lagerwey seemed happy to head into 2018 with Alonso still on the roster.

“When you look at the history of expansion drafts, expensive older players are most often not selected,” Lagerwey said when asked about Alonso during a wide-ranging end-of-season interview with reporters. “We felt like we had good information that it was relatively low risk to [expose Alonso]. Nothing is zero risk, but that is why we did what we did and we’ll move forward from there.”

Although Lagerwey wasn’t specifically asked for his reaction to Alonso’s seemingly frustrated Tweet or any of the critical messages the midfielder retweeted, he didn’t seem too concerned.

“Player meetings are the morning after the final, and that’s really tough, just objectively hard,” Lagerwey said. “It’s hard for us as managers, and I’ve done a half-dozen of them. I’ve been in four finals and had to be on the losing team and the winning team and it’s just not fun. You just have to anticipate there will be some emotional reactions because there is no time to heal or get over or process what was a tough loss for us.”

Lagerwey also reiterated that the decision was more about what was the best strategic move for the team, not necessarily a message about how they value any given player. That was basically explained to every player, Lagerwey said, and that he also told players how he expected the expansion draft to play out.

“I’ve had a lot of meetings with players and it’s emotional, right after the season,” Lagerwey said. “Sometimes they don’t understand or they interpret differently things that we tell them. We met with every player, we told them the plan, we gave them the information. Certainly, Ozzie was included. I can’t speak to what he understood or took away from that meeting but I can tell you that we did indicate that we were prepared and we had a plan and had an idea of what would happen. It proved correct.”

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