Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer on status of injured Osvaldo Alonso for MLS Cup: “I expect him to play”

TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders left Commerce City, Colo., on Sunday as Western Conference Champions for the first time in franchise history, but it did not come without concern.

Defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso exited the second leg against the Colorado Rapids with what has since been diagnosed as a slight knee sprain after he underwent an MRI. One of the biggest priorities for the Sounders heading into MLS Cup on Dec. 10 (5 p.m. PT; FOX, TSN, UniMas) is making sure their reliable No. 6 is healthy.

“I expect him to play,” said head coach Brian Schmetzer. “He has waited for this for a long time. I don’t think much could keep him from playing in that game.”

Alonso is one of three original Sounders, along with Brad Evans and Zach Scott, who has been in Seattle since the team’s inaugural MLS season in 2009. Cristian Roldan referred to Alonso as “the heart of the team,” so his potential absence would be a giant loss on and off the field.

Andreas Ivanschitz missed five matches while recovering from a knee sprain suffered in October. Alonso has just 13 days between the conference final and MLS Cup to recover.

“We’ve had some significant injuries like Clint [Dempsey], we’ve had some smaller injuries,” said Schmetzer. “There’s been some things to overcome and I’d put Ozzie in that same boat. Yes, he wants to play. I know he’ll do everything he can to play, but the team comes first.”'

Dempsey has been doing light training with the team, but Schmetzer made it clear on Wednesday that Dempsey will not be playing in MLS Cup while he still recovers from a procedure done to correct an irregular heartbeat.

Overcoming adversity is something the Sounders have not only faced, but thrived on, since Schmetzer took over in late July. Sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference, it’s been do-or-die for the better part of four months, culminating now in the ultimate one-game test.

“We have said on many occasions that every game since the new staff took over was a must-win game,” said Schmetzer. “And it applies in this case for sure.”



Grab your tickets and celebrate our 50th Anniversary Season!



Pick your matches and unlock exclusive benefits such as merchandise, on-field experiences, Suite upgrades, and more!