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Osvaldo Alonso signs one-day contract to retire with Sounders

Sounders will honor "El Corazon" before Saturday's match.

Last Updated
2 min read
Max Aquino / Sounder at Heart

Osvaldo Alonso will sign a one-day contract in order to formally retire as a member of the Seattle Sounders on Thursday, the team announced on Tuesday. There will be a special ceremony before Saturday's game against Austin FC to honor him.

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The midfielder had played the last five seasons with Minnesota United (2019-2021) and Atlanta United (2022-23), but played his first 10 seasons in MLS with the Sounders where he played nearly 29,000 minutes and made 339 appearances across all competitions, the latte of which was a team record that was only broken by Stefan Frei last year.

During that time, Alonso won four U.S. Open Cups, a Supporters' Shield and a MLS Cup, while also scoring 21 goals and establishing himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS history.

After facing him in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals in 2008 when he was a member of the Charleston Battery, the Sounders made Alonso one of their first signings when they joined MLS.

“In the history of Sounders soccer, there are certain players who epitomize the ethos of the club – who are stamped with the grit, determination and mindset that our organization stands for,” Sounders Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer said in a team release. “Ozzie is one of those players. My first experience with him was when he was playing opposite our team, and I knew immediately that he was a player you only wanted to see if he was in your uniform. With Ozzie’s help – both through his on-field skills and off-field character and leadership – Sounders FC saw great success as it began building its MLS legacy. I couldn’t be happier to welcome Ozzie and his family back to Seattle so that we can honor his incredible career.” 

Alonso, who is now an American citizen, came to the United States after defecting from Cuba while in the United States for the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup.

“As a coach, you simply couldn’t ask for more than what Ozzie brought, day in and day out,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “He played the kind of soccer our fans loved to cheer for and opponents feared. It was soccer played with dedication and passion, skill and respect for the game. It’s special to have coached such a stellar player, but, even more so, I’m grateful to know Ozzie as the exceptional human being that he is. It’s an honor to welcome him back to retire as a Sounder.”