A lot of Sounders’ fans were left scratching their head when Osvaldo Alonso was the player who took the team’s first-half penalty kick Saturday. The confusion wasn’t helped by the fact that Alonso’s shot was ultimately saved by Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath (who, amazingly, has stopped all three PKs faced this season).
So why Alonso and not Clint Dempsey (who leads MLS with eight goals) or Brad Evans (who is 7 for 7 from the spot)?
Coach Sigi Schmid offered one explanation: “Ozzie’s wife is pregnant, so the guys decided to let him his the penalty for his new baby.”
Evans offered another: “Ozzie’s daughter’s birthday is (today), so he wanted to take it for his family. That was it. So we said, ‘You know what? If we get a PK, you’re going to take it.'”
Turns out both answers were correct. A Sounders official clarified after the game that Alonso’s wife is indeed pregnant and his daughter is celebrating her first birthday.
The sentimental decision didn’t hurt Seattle in the end, as the team rallied for a 2-1 win.
“Unfortunately I missed,” Alonso said afterward, “but we stayed together, we fought and we won the game. That’s the most important thing. … If we win, I don’t care if I miss or not. Walking away with three points is very important.”
Evans also stuck up for his teammate: “It happens. We all stuck by him and we all gutted out the victory together.”
In some quick PK notes, the Sounders are 13 for 21 in league games. Alonso has converted one of his three attempts, missing his last two.