Sunday was a landmark match for Osvaldo Alonso, who became Sounders FC's first player to reach 150 MLS regular season appearances.
In that time, he has had some highlight moments, but as a holding midfielder with a tireless work rate, his highlights and contributions tend to be more subtle than those of a goal-scoring striker. Even still, he has compiled a pretty impressive résumé of great matches along the way.
These are the six most memorable matches for No. 6.
June 20, 2012 – 1-1 draw vs. Sporting Kansas City. For four-and-a-half seasons, Osvaldo Alonso plied his trade in America, but it wasn't until this midseason match against Kansas City that he did so as an American citizen. During the previous week, Alonso passed the test for U.S. citizenship and during the National Anthem he stood proudly at CenturyLink Field with his hand over his heart and sang The Star Spangled Banner.
July 10, 2011 – 3-2 win vs. Portland Timbers. In the first year that the Sounders and Timbers met in MLS, Seattle needed a road result against Portland after a 1-1 draw at home in the first match of the season series. Fredy Montero twice brought Seattle back from deficits in the match, but it was Alonso that netted the game-winner with his penalty strike in the 84th minute at Providence Park.
March 19, 2009 – 3-0 win vs. New York Red Bulls. Alonso was an All-USL midfielder with the Charleston Battery, but Sounders FC's inaugural match in 2009 was the first time Seattle got a great look at the Cuban star. He did not disappoint, anchoring the midfield to a runaway victory in the lid-lifter at CenturyLink Field.
June 17, 2009 – 3-3 draw vs. D.C. United. Alonso made his first goal in Rave Green a big one when he scored a 38th minute equalizer against D.C. United. With Seattle trailing 1-0, Alonso took a pass just outside the box and curled a blistering shot into the top corner, bending it just out of the reach of Josh Wicks and into the net.
April 13, 2013 – 0-0 draw vs. New England Revolution. With Jurgen Klinsmann in attendance, Alonso had a typically stellar defensive performance in completely shutting down a New England attack that finished the match without a shot on goal. He also completed 108 of his 116 pass attempts, which was 42 more attempts than the next highest Sounder and 85 more than any player on the Revolution. He has yet to get clearance to play for the U.S., but that match was indicative of why Klinsmann sought to have him made available, since he won't get called in for Cuba after his 2007 defection.
August 5, 2012 – 4-0 win vs. LA Galaxy. Although he prides himself on approaching each opponent the same, Alonso always seems to shine brightest against the toughest foes. On this day at CenturyLink Field, he was part of a team that stifled a potent LA Galaxy offense that featured the likes of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, limiting the star-studded club to just two shots on goal for the match as Seattle impressed the 60,908 in attendance and national audience watching on ESPN2. Alonso made the MLS Best XI in 2012 and that match was a window into his standout season.
Alonso has been among Sounders FC's most consistent performers in the club's history and also has had his share of memorable performances in the U.S. Open Cup an CONCACAF Champions League, even drawing praise from Sir Alex Ferguson following a friendly against Manchester United in 2011.
It's no wonder Sounders FC's faithful Emerald City Supporters refer to him in song as "El Corazon de los Sounders."