Osvaldo Alonso

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Alonso and the second or maternal family name is Moreno.
Osvaldo Alonso
Alonso running.jpg
Personal information
Full name Osvaldo Alonso Moreno
Date of birth (1985-11-11) November 11, 1985 (age 31)
Place of birth San Cristóbal, Cuba
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Seattle Sounders FC
Number 6
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2007 Pinar del Río 42 (14)
2008 Charleston Battery 23 (4)
2009– Seattle Sounders FC 226 (9)
National team
2006–2007 Cuba 16 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 23, 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 24, 2009

Osvaldo Alonso Moreno (born November 11, 1985) is a Cuban-American footballer who currently plays for Seattle Sounders FC in Major League Soccer. Known for his style of harassing, tackling and covering the field, he gets forward to supply enough offense to be considered a threat,[1] and has earned the nickname "Honey Badger" by fans for his tenacious playstyle.[citation needed]



Alonso began his career with Pinar del Río in his homeland, after which he defected to the United States in June 2007.[2] Alonso trained with Chivas USA, and was offered a $12,900 developmental contract with the team. Eventually, Alonso opted to sign with Charleston Battery on the theory he would get more playing time on a USL First Division team.[3] He impressed early after a strong outing the preseason Carolina Challenge Cup 2008.,[4] and ultimately enjoyed an impressive rookie season in which he started 31 games for the Battery and scored 7 goals.[5] He was named 2008 team MVP and Newcomer of the Year on fan votes, the team's Player's Player of the Year by a team vote, and the USL-1 Rookie of the Year by league coach and GM vote.[4]

Seattle Sounders FC[edit]

Playing for the Seattle Sounders in 2014

He was signed by Seattle Sounders FC in 2008 where he quickly became a regular starter at defensive midfield.

The 2009 MLS Season: Tenacious ballwinner, starting 28 of 29 appearances in regular season and playoffs. Played the full 90 minutes in 26 games, and all 210 minutes in both playoff games vs. HOU (10/29, 11/8). After missing three matches with quadriceps strain, returned to score on long-range blast vs. DC (6/17). Finished with one goal and three assists. All three assists came during first two matches. Appeared in two U.S. Open Cup games, including 90 minutes in the final. In February 2011, Alonso signed a contract extension with Seattle through the 2014 season.[6]

Osvaldo Alonso in 2010: Returned from injury to help Seattle post the league's best record in the second half of the season. Started 23 of 25 appearances in regular season and playoffs, matching his 2009 totals with one goal and three assists. Scored the game-winner vs. CHV (10/15). Missed eight games due to a quadriceps strain (5/8) and returned vs. DAL (7/11). Seattle was 11-3-5 in regular season matches when he played at least 45 minutes. Also appeared in two U.S. Open Cup and five CONCACAF Champions League matches

2011: Workhorse of team, led field players with 33 appearances and 2891 minutes (ranked 12th among field players in MLS). Played full 90 minutes in each of his 32 MLS starts. Scored career-high three goals and matched his high with three assists. Scored game-winner at POR (7/10) by converting his first career penalty. Second on team with 54 shots. Selected as MLS All-Star for first time. Scored both goals in 2-2 draw at Comunicaciones (9/27) in CCL Group Stage match. Named U.S. Open Cup Player of the Round for his performance in the final (added late goal in 2-0 win over Chicago). Made 43 appearances and 40 starts across all competitions.[citation needed]

Alonso played 56 minutes in a 3-2 win over Chelsea in the 2012 MLS All-Star Game.

2012: Named to MLS Best XI for first time in four-year career after a stellar season in midfield, leading the team with 30 starts. Compiled a team-high 2,688 minutes in regular season play, the second-highest total by field player in franchise history behind his 2011 total. Named MLS All-Star for the second straight season and voted team MVP for the third straight year. His lone goal of the season came on a 65th minute game- winner at COL (7/28) when he volleyed a 12-yard shot into the back of the net. Named 2012 U.S. Open Cup Player of the Tournament after scoring four goals and two assists in four games, including the winner vs. ATL (5/30) and a 30-yard volley vs. CAL FC (6/5). Totaled five goals and five assists while leading the team with 42 starts and 3,749 minutes across all competitions.

In 2013, Alonso was named an inactive MLS All-Star. Earning his third All-Star selection in his five-year MLS career being voted team MVP in 2010 & 2011.[7]


Alonso served as captain of the Cuba U-23 national team during qualification for the men's football tournament at the 2008 Summer Olympics. He made his debut for the senior Cuban national team in a Caribbean Nations Cup 2006-07 match against the Turks & Caicos Islands in September 2006. During his time with the Cuban national team he earned 17 caps, scoring two goals.[5] His final appearance for the national team was at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup in June 2007 against Panama. He defected to the United States, walking away from his team in a Houston area Wal-Mart during the Gold Cup Tournament.[8]

On June 19, 2012, Alonso became a citizen of the United States of America[9] and he stated that he would like to play for the United States national team despite playing for Cuba in the past.[10]

Alonso has not been called up to the Cuban national team since he defected to the United States in June 2007. The FIFA statutes state that:

"If a Player who has been fielded by his Association in an international match in accordance with art. 5 par. 2 permanently loses the nationality of that country without his consent or against his will due to a decision by a government authority, he may request permission to play for another Association whose nationality he already has or has acquired."[11]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League Playoffs U.S. Open Cup Champions League Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Charleston Battery 2008 23 4 2 2 1 0 6 2 0 - - - 31 7 2
Seattle Sounders FC 2009 27 1 3 2 0 0 2 0 0 - - - 31 1 3
2010 23 1 3 2 0 0 2 0 0 5 0 1 32 1 4
2011 33 3 3 2 1 0 4 1 0 8 2 0 47 7 3
2012 30 1 2 4 0 0 4 4 2 3 0 1 41 5 5
2013 26 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 33 1 1
2014 33 0 2 1 1 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 37 2 2
2015 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 0 0
Career total 217 10 16 16 4 0 21 8 2 20 2 2 328 22 20

Defection to the United States[edit]

Alonso defected from Cuba while the team was in Houston, Texas to face the Honduran team. Another Cuban teammate, Lester Moré, defected to the United States during the team's same trip to the United States.[2] Alonso was with teammates at a Wal-Mart when he went off by himself while browsing through merchandise and then left the store.[3] Alonso walked several blocks from the store until he found a man who spoke Spanish and borrowed a cell phone to call a friend in Miami, Florida.

Alonso earned his U.S. citizenship in 2012.[12]


Pinar del Río[edit]

Seattle Sounders FC[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2012 Western Conference preview: L.A., Seattle lead a strong field". Sports Illustrated. March 5, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Two Cuban Defectors Will Get Chivas Tryout". The Washington Post. June 30, 2007. p. E02. Retrieved December 22, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Miller, Andrew (July 12, 2008). "Player who defected from Cuba realized dream, longs to see family again". The Post and Courier. Retrieved July 12, 2008. 
  4. ^ a b "Alonso Named USL-1 Rookie of the Year". Soccer365.com. October 13, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Charleston Battery: The Team: Roster". CharlestonBattery.com. Retrieved July 12, 2008. 
  6. ^ http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=4155117
  7. ^ Mayers, Joshua (December 14, 2011). "2011 team awards announced, Osvaldo Alonso voted MVP". The Seattle Times. 
  8. ^ Kaufman, Michelle. "Cuban defector Osvaldo Alonso relishing freedom, MLS success". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  9. ^ Gaschk, Matt (June 19, 2012). "Alonso a U.S. Citizen". SoundersFC.com. 
  10. ^ FIFA (June 19, 2012). "Osvaldo Alonso becomes a U.S. citizen, holds out hope for U.S. men's national team". Seattle Times. Retrieved June 14, 2013. 
  11. ^ "FIFA Statutes, III. Eligibility to Play for Representative Teams" (PDF). FIFA.com. p. 61. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Gaschk, Matt (June 19, 2012). "Alonso a U.S. Citizen - Seattle Sounders Football Club". Soundersfc.com. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]