Still Unclear If Osvaldo Alonso Could Ever Suit Up For USMNT

Osvaldo Alonso is now a U.S. citizen (via @JoshuaMayers). That's undeniably great news on a personal level for the Cuban refugee, who can now start trying to move his family here, and it bodes well for him professionally, too.

In a more selfish sense, there are two really pertinent questions:

1. Can he ever suit up for the United States?

2. Would he even be helpful?

The answer to the first question appears simple enough to answer, as Alonso suited up for Cuba in the 2007 Gold Cup. In most cases, that would make him ineligible, as he's already been capped in a FIFA competition. But Cuba, of course, presents some interesting situations. The trick will be how FIFA interprets rule 18.2. If they decide that his Cuban citizenship has been revoked against his desires, he could become eligible to play for the red, white and blue.

Of course, that assumes Jurgen Klinsmann actually wants him. Defensive midfielder is one position where the U.S. is reasonably deep. Alonso probably slots in somewhere around Kyle Beckerman on the depth chart, which would make him useful, but not necessarily someone who would be a starter for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Still, he'd be a potentially useful player and someone who would at least be worthy of bringing into camp and one that could help in qualifying. He's made huge progress during his three years with the Seattle Sounders, is an tenacious ball-winner who is improving rapidly on offense and, at 26, still has some upside. The U.S. could certainly do a lot worse.

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