Osvaldo Alonso, voted by teammates as the Sounders’ most valuable player for a fourth consecutive year, is now a a designated player, which gives him a big pay boost. The Sounders Tuesday announced his new, multi-year deal, but did not disclose terms. Alonso, 28, led the MLS in passing accuracy (88.58 percent) in 2013, when he started 26 regular season matches and logged 2,179 minutes.
He joins Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins as one of Seattle’s three designated players. But Martins is said to be pursuing a loan to a European club, if not a transfer.
“Alonso is the model of consistency for us in central midfield,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “His on-field leadership and tenacious play make him one of the top holding midfielders in the league.”
Cuban-born, Alonso received full U.S. citizenship June 16, 2012, though his role with the Sounders reaches back farther. Signed January 27, 2009, Alonso is the only player in club history to play 10,000 minutes, and holds a franchise-best 110 starts and 120 appearances.
“Ozzie is the ultimate competitor who has given everything to Sounders FC,” said owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer. “His passion for the game of soccer and his drive to be the best are validated by being named team MVP four consecutive seasons by his teammates. Ozzie is a key building block for our club and we are happy to sign him to a long-term contract extension.”
In February 2011, the club secured Alonso with a multi-year extension through the 2014 season. In 2012, the league selected him to the MLS Best XI, and he was the U.S. Open Cup Player of the Tournament. In 2013, he scored one goal and added an assist in the regular season before the Sounders bowed out in the Western Conference semifinals.
“I am excited for the contract Seattle gave me,” said Alonso. “I am very happy for the confidence they placed in me to play several more years here. I hope I can help bring an MLS Cup to Seattle.”