It was only a matter of time before the pre-match banter really got going on social media between fans of the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. The teams will meet on Sunday in a massively important match that will likely have playoff and Supporter's Shield implications but Timbers' owner Merritt Paulson decided Wednesday was a good day to stoke the fires with a little bit of Twitter trolling.
So O. Alonso has played in 23 games and has received a total of...(drum roll) 3 yellow cards this yr. Great player but I don't get that.— Merritt Paulson (@MerrittPaulson) October 9, 2013
Paulson has a reasonable point considering Osvaldo Alonso's penchant for physical play and there's no doubt that the midfielder's card count is very low this season. In fact, he hasn't had this low of a card count since 2010 when he managed to collect only four yellows in 23 appearances. He was shown seven yellows in 2011 and eight in 2012.
Alonso also picked-up the first straight red card of his MLS career against the San Jose Earthquakes back in July, but that really doesn't count since he didn't do anything wrong. Don't believe me? MLS rescinded the card after is was reviewed.
Has Alonso suddenly become a more saintly figure on the pitch? Nope, he's just likely been the benefit of lenient referees and having played less games this season due to some injuries.. He's the same old hard nosed competitor, doing the same old stuff he's become beloved in Seattle for since his arrival in 2009.
None of those facts and statistics will likely make one bit of difference to Sounders fans who are already getting worked into a lather on social media. As the original tweet by Paulson was clearly some well thought out trolling, I think we can safely say he accomplished his mission.