Minnesota United finalized their reported pursuit of Ozzie Alonso on Thursday, announcing that they had signed the Seattle Sounders legend after selecting him off waivers.
Alonso joins the Loons after 10 years with the Sounders. During his 10 seasons in Seattle, Alonso featured in 277 games, with 24 assists, and won MLS Cup in 2016, in addition to serving as captain and helping capture U.S. Open Cup titles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014, and a Supporters’ Shield in 2014.
On an individual level, Alonso is a four-time MLS All-Star and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2012.
“We’ve just added a great leader and a warrior to our roster,” said MNUFC Sporting Director Manny Lagos in a team statement. “It’ll be nice to have him on the field playing for us rather than against us. He’s going to come in and complement and develop our midfield core. He has high expectations for this club and this season. We believe he will add leadership, steel and grit, and will continue to mold a winning mentality on and off the field.”
Last season, Alonso started 21 games in 25 appearances, registering three assists as the Sounders’ second-half surge carried them all the way to second place in the Western Conference. Alonso went all 210 minutes as the Sounders were eliminated on penalty kicks in a thrilling two-legged series with the Portland Timbers.
“We are bringing in one of the best, most competitive and tenacious defensive midfielders in the league,” said MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath. “The first thing we heard when speaking with players, front office staff and coaches about Ozzie was that he is a leader, he won’t accept losing. As we move into Allianz Field we know we need to be better and we are bringing in a player that can help us achieve our goals on the field and someone who can help develop a mentality with our players in the locker room. ”
Minnesota will kick off the 2019 season on March 2 at Vancouver, and will open their brand-new stadium, Allianz Field, on April 13 against NYCFC.