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Originally published November 19, 2013 at 4:59 PM | Page modified November 19, 2013 at 7:32 PM

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Sounders make Osvaldo Alonso a designated player

Osvaldo Alonso signed a multiyear contract extension Tuesday that makes him the 10th designated player in Sounders FC history.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Sounders DPs

Osvaldo Alonso becomes the 10th DP in team history.

Freddie Ljungberg: Signed Oct. 28, 2008. Traded to Chicago on July 30, 2010.

Blaise Nkufo: Signed March 4, 2010, arrived July 17, 2010. Bought out March 15, 2011.

Alvaro Fernandez: Signed July 29, 2010. Traded to Chicago on July 27, 2012.

Fredy Montero: Re-signed as DP on Dec. 1, 2010. Loaned to Millonarios on Jan. 21, 2013; loaned to Sporting Lisbon on July 22, 2013.

Mauro Rosales: Re-signed on Dec. 13, 2011, classified as DP before 2012 season. DP contract expired after 2013 season.

Christian Tiffert: Signed on July 27, 2012. Bought out March 2, 2013.

Shalrie Joseph: Acquired on Feb. 19, 2013. Re-signed to non-DP deal on Aug. 1, 2013.

Obafemi Martins: Signed on March 15, 2013.

Clint Dempsey: Signed on Aug. 3, 2013.

Osvaldo Alonso: Re-signed as a DP on Tuesday.

Joshua Mayers

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Another class move, by a class organization. Some players play the piano, some carry... MORE
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Safe to say Osvaldo Alonso had earned a raise. The tenacious midfielder has been voted Sounders FC’s MVP by his teammates the past four seasons and is often described as the heartbeat of the team.

Alonso’s reward came Tuesday in a multiyear contract extension that makes him a designated player.

Per MLS and team policy, terms were not disclosed. Alonso, 28, had been under contract through 2014 and becomes the 10th DP in franchise history.

“I am very happy for the confidence they placed in me to play several more years here,” he said in a news release. “I hope I can help bring an MLS Cup to Seattle.”

The Sounders have a full allotment of three DPs going into 2014: Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Alonso. Mauro Rosales was a DP this past season, but his contract has expired.

Alonso, signed from the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues, is one of six Sounders from the team's inaugural MLS season in 2009. He has been named an MLS All-Star the past three years and in 2012 was named to the MLS Best XI, voted on by MLS players, club leaders and media.

“Alonso is the model of consistency for us in central midfield,” coach Sigi Schmid said in the release. “His on-field leadership and tenacious play make him one of the top holding midfielders in the league.”

Along with a new contract, Alonso has had much to celebrate in Seattle. The Cuban defector earned American citizenship in summer 2012. He would likely be involved with the U.S. national team if not for an uncooperative Cuban federation.

Still, the pay raise is another example of how far Alonso has come.

“For me, it’s unbelievable — playing here, being in Seattle with the fans,” he said. “When I look back to when I defected and to be playing right now, it’s amazing for me. I never imagined it would be like it is now.”

Dempsey, the U.S. men’s national-team captain, has been nominated for U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year award. He has won the award three times: 2007, 2011 and 2012.

Reign FC’s new acquisition, Sydney Leroux, has been nominated for Female Athlete of the Year.

The winners will be announced Nov. 26.

DeAndre Yedlin told he might go to Germany in the offseason and train with Hannover 96, where veteran American defender Steve Cherundolo plays.

DPs, by the numbers
Statistics for Sounders FC’s nine designated players (note: stats only from when players were classified as DPs, meaning 2011-12 for Fredy Montero and 2012-13 for Mauro Rosales).
PlayerGames MinutesGoals Assists
Fredy Montero 634,8802517
Mauro Rosales 604,206721
Alvaro Fernandez 553,244133
Freddie Ljungberg373,068212
Obafemi Martins 201,46684
Christian Tiffert 1297803
Blaise Nkufo 1193150
Clint Dempsey 965110
Shalrie Joseph 742800

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or On Twitter @joshuamayers

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