ATLANTA —Atlanta United announced Thursday it has signed free agent midfielder Osvaldo “Ozzie” Alonso to a one-year contract with a club option for 2023. A 13-year MLS veteran with Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United, Alonso has never missed MLS Cup Playoffs in his entire career. He spent 10 seasons in Seattle and won six trophies, including 2016 MLS Cup. He played the last three seasons with Minnesota United.
“We’re pleased Ozzie has chosen to sign with us in free agency,” Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “A proven leader, Ozzie is one of the most respected and decorated players in our league. His veteran presence on the field and in the locker room will be a great addition for our club.”
Alonso, 36, joined MLS in 2009 with Seattle. Over the last 13 seasons, he has amassed 338 career MLS Regular Season appearances, 317 starts and a total of 27,911 minutes played. He has another 30 career appearances with 28 starts in MLS Cup Playoffs, ranking in the top 25 in MLS history in each of those five categories. During his time in Seattle (2009-18), the Sounders went to 10 consecutive MLS Cup Playoffs, highlighted by winning the club’s first MLS Cup trophy in 2016, as well as its first MLS Supporters Shield in 2014. Alonso also helped lead Seattle to four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014), in which he played every minute in each of the four finals. He played alongside Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda from 2014-15 and for him during 2017-18 when Pineda was an assistant coach for the Sounders.
Prior to the 2019 season, Alonso joined Minnesota United and made an immediate impact for the club as it finished with a club-record 53 points and first-ever MLS Cup Playoff appearance. Alonso also captained Minnesota to its deepest run in the U.S. Open Cup, where it reached the final – Alonso’s sixth career appearance in a USOC final – and lost to Atlanta United 2-1. In three seasons with Minnesota, Alonso made 61 appearances and 51 starts, and helped the club reach the postseason each year. Overall in MLS, he’s made at least 20 league appearances in 12 of his 13 seasons – only failing to reach 20 during the COVID-shortened 2020 MLS season – and is a four-time all-star and one-time Best XI selection.
Before joining MLS in 2009, Alonso played with the Charleston Battery in 2008, where he earned 2008 first team All-USL First Division honors and was voted the league’s Rookie of the Year. He also played three seasons (2005–07) for FC Pinar del Rio, winning the Cuban championship in 2006.
Internationally, Alonso represented Cuba 17 times at the senior level and scored two goals. He made his debut for the senior Cuban National Team in a Caribbean Nations Cup match against the Turks & Caicos Islands in September 2006. Alonso served as captain of the U-23 National Team during qualification for the 2008 Olympics. He gained full U.S citizenship on June 16, 2012.
Name: Osvaldo Alonso
Birthdate: November 11, 1985 (Age: 36)*
Birthplace:* San Cristóbal, Cuba*
Citizenship:* USA, Cuba*
Transaction:* Atlanta United signs Osvaldo Alonso on Dec. 23, 2021
2022 Atlanta United roster (as of Dec. 23, 2021)
Goalkeepers (2): Dylan Castanheira, Brad Guzan
Defenders (10): Mikey Ambrose, George Bello, George Campbell, Alex De John, Alan Franco, Andrew Gutman, Brooks Lennon, Efrain Morales, Miles Robinson, Bryce Washington
Midfielders (11): Osvaldo Alonso, Ezequiel Barco, Jürgen Damm, Emerson Hyndman, Franco Ibarra, Marcelino Moreno, Jake Mulraney, Matheus Rossetto, Amar Sejdic, Santiago Sosa, Tyler Wolff
Forwards (5): Luiz Araújo, Machop Chol, Jackson Conway, Erik López, Josef Martínez