SEATTLE - OCTOBER 15: Osvaldo Alonso #6 of the Seattle Sounders FC is hugged by Blaise Nkufo #9 after scoring a goal against Chivas USA on October 15 2010 at Qwest Field in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Seattle Sounders Extend Contract Of Osvaldo Alonso Through 2014

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Seattle Sounders Extend Contract Of Osvaldo Alonso Through 2014

Seattle Sounders FC announced this morning that they have agreed to a contract extension with midfielder Osvaldo Alonso that will keep him with the club through the 2014 season. Alonso, whose current deal was set to expire at the end of the the 2012 season, joined the Sounders after spending the 2008 season with USL-1 team Charleston Battery. Alonso, a former Cuban national, defected to the United States while the Cuban team was in Houston for a game against Honduras in 2007.

From the team's press release:

"We are thrilled to extend Ozzie's contract for an additional two years. Through his hard work, intensity and heart, Ozzie is certainly deserving of the reward of a bigger and longer contract."

--Sounders General Manager Adrian Hanauer

"Ozzie has been a vital part of the Sounders' success. His work rate, defensive tenacity and passing are important every game, and I am happy he will be with us for a while."

--Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid

"I am very pleased with the attention I have been given by the club, and I appreciate the confidence that Adrian and Sigi have shown in me. I am very happy with the team and the fans here in Seattle. The fans have treated me well and I will give them and the club my best every time I step on the field, and I will work hard to bring success to the Sounders."

--Osvaldo Alonso

Alonso has been a key member of the Sounders first-team since arriving before the club's first season in MLS in 2009. Typically deployed in the defensive midfield role, Alonso's ability to read the game tactically is as good as any player in MLS. What sets him apart from many other destroyer types in the league is his ability to distribute and at times function as something of a deep-lying playmaker as well as pose a not-insignificant threat from distance. MLS is not short on defense-shielding midfielders, but Alonso's quality in all phases of the game makes him a tremendous asset to any team.

The Sounders certainly see things that way and their fans should be delighted that the club has its 2010 team MVP locked up for another four years. One of the principal reasons for the continuing improvement of the league's quality has been the ability for teams to spot, sign and keep quality young players. Alonso certainly fits the bill, and by succeeding in keeping him signed through the better part of his peak years the Sounders are in position to benefit immensely, either through the quality of his play or any value his services might demand on the transfer market should such a situation arise. Excellent news both for the Sounders and MLS as a whole.

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