Osvaldo Alonso is widely respected around Major League Soccer. In addition to MLS Best XI honors in 2012, he is now a four-time All-Star after being named to the 2014 MLS All-Star Game on August 6.
He also is a fierce competitor who has never been one to back down from confrontations on the field. That has been a characteristic that has earned him respect in the league, but many of his All-Star teammates have stood toe-to-toe with him in those heated moments on the field. However, those players will be on his side at Providence Park as the best players in MLS take on Bayern Munich in Portland two weeks from today.
“You have to be a teammate, but after the Bayern Munich game, we have to go back to our teams,” said Alonso, who has earned All-Star honors each of the past four seasons. “In Portland, we will play together against Bayern and after that, forget about it.”
Alonso has always been brutally loyal to his Sounders FC teammates and views anyone in an opposing jersey as the enemy for that 90 minutes when they compete on the field.
The MLS All-Star’s midfield is riddled with players who have been combatants with Alonso, including Landon Donovan, Will Johnson, Kyle Beckerman and, more recently, Michael Bradley. Those competitive rivalries will be placed aside for the few days that the All-Star team spends together, just as they have before when Alonso has played in the mid-season exhibition.
Alonso knows there is no time for differences with his teammates, who he himself holds high respect. With a crunched timetable, the focus remains on putting the best foot forward for MLS in a high-profile game.
“You have to meet with other players on other teams and you have a couple of days training to play against a big club,” explains Alonso, who most recently played 56 minutes in a 3-2 win over Chelsea in 2012. Last season, he was named an inactive All-Star and did not play in a 3-1 loss to AS Roma.
Alonso, 28, has started all but one match for Seattle thus far this season, helping Sounders FC to the top record in MLS at 12-4-2. He is one of five Sounders players named to the All-Star team, along with Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Chad Marshall and DeAndre Yedlin.