Nicolas Lodeiro, Nelson Valdez and Jordan Morris will rightfully get most of the recognition from the Seattle Sounders’ convincing 3-0 win over FC Dallas in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday. But lost in the Sounders’ explosive offensive showing was one of the most impressive performances all season from Osvaldo Alonso.
Seattle’s acting captain started at defensive midfield alongside Cristian Roldan and bossed the middle of the park in ways few players in Major League Soccer have done. In the first half, Alonso completed 45 of 46 passes including a 95 percent clip in FC Dallas’ side of the field.
Alonso was especially keen on finding Lodeiro, who started on the right flank on Sunday in one of several lineup adjustments. Alonso picked out the Uruguayan 16 times, four more than any other teammate, and Alonso was instrumental in building the Sounders attack. He kept Dallas defenders off-balanced and was clinical in his distribution, an even greater effort because of the wet surface in the rain.
Here’s just how efficient Alonso was:
Despite being replaced by Brad Evans in the 79th minute, Alonso finished the match with 73 total passes, 10 more than the next closest player on either team. Goalkeeper Stefan Frei mentioned postgame that the team wanted to do a better job keeping the ball offensively, and Alonso paced Seattle to a 56 percent possession advantage over the Supporters’ Shield winners.
After the Sounders’ Decision Day win over Real Salt Lake last Sunday, Alonso said, “We’re not finished yet.” If he keeps controlling the midfield like he did on Sunday, Seattle may not be finished for a while.