Sounders FC signs Alonso, releases exhibition schedule
Seattle Sounders FC signed midfielder Osvaldo Alonso on Tuesday. The club also released its exhibition schedule and opens against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Feb. 9 in Carson, Calif.
Seattle Times staff reporter
RENTON — Osvaldo Alonso arrived Tuesday with a lot of experience for a soccer player who turned 23 just last November.
His credentials include: a member of the Cuban national team for the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the 2008 United Soccer Leagues First Division Rookie of the Year, All-USL First Division selection, three seasons with Pinar del Rio, and the winner of the Cuban league championship in 2006.
Terms of the contract he signed with the Sounders FC on Tuesday were not disclosed per Major League Soccer and team policy. Alonso will be added to Seattle's official roster upon arrival of his transfer documents from the Charleston Battery, the USL team from which Seattle acquired Alonso's rights.
"It's an honor for me to be with the Seattle Sounders in MLS," Alonso said in Spanish. "I love it in this country. It's a little cold here [in Seattle], but that's OK."
The midfielder started 31 games for the Battery last season and scored seven goals, helping Charleston to the USL playoffs. He made 17 international appearances for Cuba before defecting in 2007 during the Gold Cup in Houston.
Alonso trained with the Columbus Crew of MLS last year when Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was there, but Schmid didn't feel like Alonso could take a roster spot away from what he had at midfielder at the time. Alonso was then able to find a place in Charleston.
Now the 5-foot-11, 165-pound Alonso has arrived and bolsters the midfielder position for Seattle, which is without designated player Freddie Ljungberg, veteran Peter Vagenas and rookie draft pick Michael Fucito because of injuries.
• Sounders FC announced its preseason match schedule Tuesday, which includes four games in California where the team continues training camp beginning next week, two scrimmages closed to the public at Qwest Field Feb. 22 and March 12, one at the University of Portland Feb. 20 that is open to the public and several in Argentina, where the team will train later this winter.
• Vagenas was scheduled to report to the team for camp when it arrives in California Monday, but his arrival is likely to be delayed because of arthroscopic knee surgery he is having today.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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