By John Boyle
Sounders FC is off to Los Angeles this weekend for a game against Chivas USA, and Seattle found out today that it will be without one of its top players, midfielder Osvaldo Alonso. The league suspended Alonso two games and fined him an undisclosed amount for what it described as “a reckless challenge in the 82nd minute of Wednesday’s game that endangered the safety of his opponent, Columbus Crew midfielder Cole Grossman.”
Video of the play is below, and on the replay it is pretty clear that Alonso came in a bit late on the challenge, but what made it worse (and what likely led to the two game suspension) is the fact that Alonso went in two-footed, which is a big no-no in soccer. Generally a two-footed tackle will lead to an automatic red card, so Alonso was lucky to finish the game, but after reviewing the game, the league has decided to punish Alonso for the play.
Alonso, one of the best defensive midfielders in the league, has been one of Seattle’s most valuable players over the past few years. Who will fill in for him remains to be seen, but Sounders FC does have good depth at midfield, so while Alonso’s presence will certainly be missed, Seattle coach Sigi Schmid will have options.
In addition to Saturday’s game in LA, Alonso will miss a June 16 game in Montreal. He will be eligible to play in next week’s U.S. Open Cup game.