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April 27, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Osvaldo “Ozzie” Alonso, corazón de los Sounders

Thanks to scott47a in Bellingham for that way to describe Alonso. Pretty appropriate to call Alonso “el corazón,” or “the heart” of Sounders FC.

Speaking of Alonso, here’s a transcription of our talk today.

Me: “Osvaldo, tres amarillos?” (three yellows?)

Alonso: “Si.” (Yes)

Me: “Pero tienes que jugar tu juego verdad?” (But you have to play your game, right?)

Alonso: “Claro. Solo tres. No es cinco.” (Of course. Only three. It’s not five).

As for today’s practice, it took place at Starfire’s stadium, where the U.S. Open Cup game vs. Real Salt Lake will be played tomorrow night. The team worked on penalty kicks, as those could factor in. There must be a winner tomorrow. The winner advances from the play-in round to the actual tournament.

So who will play for Sounders FC? Coach Sigi Schmid keeps saying it will be a mix of guys who played Saturday, guys who didn’t. Only five internationals are eligible to play, so one Seattle foreign player won’t be available. Four substitutions are allowed, bot three like in MLS games. Schmid said the team wants to win and is taking this seriously, a notion reiterated by the players.

Every player on the team but Freddie Ljungberg, who is out of town at his grandmother’s funeral, is eligible to play, Schmid said.

Schmid expects the game to be sold out, but showed some concern about the hard turf surface. The field is smaller at Starfire, more narrow, and there are high bounces. He figure there will be more duels and more physical play.

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