During the MLS offseason, it’s not uncommon for players to train at top clubs around the world.
Before the 2011 season, Osvaldo Alonso and Steve Zakuani had separate, week-long stints training with Everton in England.
This year, Alonso is back across the pond with another one-week training stint with West Ham United in England. Managed by Sam Allardyce, West Ham features the likes of forwards Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole and midfielders Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble.
Alonso has 151 career appearances for the Sounders in all competitions, netting 14 goals and 15 assists. Last season, he started in all 30 MLS matches that he played in, leading the Sounders with 2,688 minutes. In addition to earning MLS Best XI honors, he is a two-time MLS All-Star and was the 2012 US Open Cup Player of the Tournament after leading the Sounders with four goals in their fourth consecutive run to the US Open Cup Final. It was the fifth straight appearance in the Open Cup Final for Alonso, who earned a trip to the final in 2008 while playing with the Charleston Battery of the USL.
The three-time Sounders FC MVP, Alonso, 27, led the league in tackles and recoveries in each of the last two seasons. In 2012, he had 166 tackles. According to Opta, who compiles stats for Major League Soccer, no other player in the league had more than 110 and only three others had more than 100. His 667 recoveries since the start of the 2011 season puts him 197 clear of the next highest field player.
Born in Cuba, Alonso played with the Cuban National Team until defecting to the US in 2007 during the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. This year, he earned his US citizenship, but his caps with the Cuban National Team have prevented him from earning a spot on the US National Team.
He is scheduled for a one-week training stint with the London-based club before returning to Seattle.