Press Release

Sounders great Ozzie Alonso to sign one-day contract and retire in Rave Green

Goal Celebration

Seattle Sounders FC today announced that Ozzie Alonso – a club legend and all-time Major League Soccer great – is returning to Seattle this week to sign a one-day contract with the Rave Green, officially retiring from professional soccer as a Sounder.

The midfielder – fondly nicknamed “the Honey Badger” by fans for his aggressive, hard-nosed playing style that earned both fear and respect across the league – played 15 seasons in MLS, including 10 with Sounders FC. 

“In the history of Sounders soccer, there are certain players who epitomize the ethos of the club – who are stamped with the grit, determination and mindset that our organization stands for,” said Sounders FC Majority Owner Adrian Hanauer. “Ozzie is one of those players. My first experience with him was when he was playing opposite our team, and I knew immediately that he was a player you only wanted to see if he was in your uniform. With Ozzie’s help – both through his on-field skills and off-field character and leadership – Sounders FC saw great success as it began building its MLS legacy. I couldn’t be happier to welcome Ozzie and his family back to Seattle so that we can honor his incredible career.” 

A Rave Green original, Alonso joined the club in its inaugural MLS season in 2009, playing a critical role in the franchise’s growth and success during his decade in Seattle. As a multi-year team captain, he put in a remarkable 23,381 regular-season minutes for Sounders FC across 277 games, recording 10 goals and 24 assists while raising major trophies on six separate occasions. Titles that Alonso helped bring to the Emerald City include MLS Cup (2016), the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2009-2011, 2014) and the MLS Supporters’ Shield (2014). He earned MLS All-Star designation four consecutive seasons (2011-2014) and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2012. In all competitions, Alonso recorded 339 appearances for Sounders FC, the most of any field player in the club’s MLS era. 

“As a coach, you simply couldn’t ask for more than what Ozzie brought, day in and day out,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer. “He played the kind of soccer our fans loved to cheer for and opponents feared. It was soccer played with dedication and passion, skill and respect for the game. It’s special to have coached such a stellar player, but, even more so, I’m grateful to know Ozzie as the exceptional human being that he is. It’s an honor to welcome him back to retire as a Sounder.”

After departing Seattle following the 2018 season, Alonso made stops at Minnesota United FC (2019-2021) and Atlanta United FC (2022-2023). He recorded the first-ever goal at Allianz Field, Minnesota’s home stadium, on April 13, 2019, and provided inestimable leadership and fire to every team on which he played.

Alonso finished his MLS professional playing career having recorded 349 regular-season appearances with 13 goals and 26 assists, as well as 30 postseason appearances with three goals. Across all competitions, he recorded 424 appearances, 24 goals and 30 assists.

Beyond his ability on the field and leadership off of it, Alonso’s life story is one marked by perseverance and success against all odds. Born in Cuba, his athletic skills eventually brought him to the United States as a member of the Cuban National Team for the 2007 Concacaf Gold Cup. Alonso separated from the team while in Houston, escaping watch and defecting – left to start a new life in a new country without connections or promises of what the future might bring. He eventually found a place with the USL’s Charleston Battery, where his skills were noticed by Adrian Hanauer, then Owner and General Manager of the USL Seattle Sounders, set to move to MLS in 2009.

In a career full of bright moments that set the foundation for Sounders FC’s place in Major League Soccer, Alonso’s one-day contract with Sounders FC now ensures that the Rave Green mainstay retires where his professional journey began.

Alonso is set to attend Saturday’s MLS home opener against Austin FC (7:30 p.m. PT / Apple TV, 93.3 KJR FM, El Rey 1360 AM), with further details about the Sounders FC legend’s activities to follow later this week.



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!

2024 Season Memberships

2024 Season Memberships

Our 50th Anniversary season meets our most fan-friendly membership yet.