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Osvaldo Alonso ruled out of MLS Cup final

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Midfielder has only made one substitute appearance since the end of September.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Osvaldo Alonso has failed his physical and won’t be available for Saturday’s MLS Cup final, head coach Brian Schmetzer told the media on Thursday.

The news is a bit of a blow, but not entirely surprising. There had been hopes that Alonso would be available after he was able to get through at least one full training session on Nov. 28, but he did not even suit up for leg 2 of the Western Conference finals. Even if Alonso had been declared fit, chances are that he’d have only been available as a late-game substitute, after seeing only a single substitute appearance since leaving the Sept. 27 match with a quad injury.

Alonso was also nursing an injury ahead of last year’s MLS Cup final, but Schmetzer spent much of the week before that match insisting that his midfielder would play almost no matter what. Alonso ended up playing all 120 minutes.

This year the situation is obviously different, and not just because Alonso’s injury may be more serious. Unlike last year, the Sounders have actually managed to play pretty well without Alonso. In the 16 matches where Alonso has played less than a half, the Sounders have gone 11-2-3.