I’m sure everyone will be shocked to learn that our very own Ozzie Alonso was named one of the four best midfielders in MLS. Okay… maybe not. There really can no longer be any talk about how under appreciated he is across the league after a year of being named to an All-Star team and the MLS best XI.
The past few years the story has been that he’s quietly the best centre midfielder in the league. From here on out everyone is going to expect it and I’m sure that this could end up being a curse of types rather than a blessing.
I try not to be a naysayer and this is really a wonderful honor to be bestowed upon Alonso. It’s finally signifies what all of us have seen over the years and what we hear every time we tune into a national televised match. They always rave about how dominant a ball winner he is and his amazing defensive vision and feel about the pitch.
But, here is the thing; Much like how the U.S. Open Cup trophies have brought about expectations and ambition for greater things, the inevitability of Alonso’s talent is certain to do something of the same. While it may not be MLS Best XI’s or other awards or … whatever. I think it’s going to come with fans complaining about him “missing” in games or saying things like his contributions “aren’t there”.
Often times we are so easily distracted by numbers or lack there of.. I think the dangerous thing about having a guy of Osvaldo Alonso caliber, in a position that is… well, at times rather transparent, its understandable that people could quickly come to under appreciate all that he does for the Sounder. I think that’s highlighted by the talk about how poor our defence is at times.
Honestly, I sometimes wonder if people really pay attention to the games. Sure, Zach Scott, Marc Burch and Leo Gonzalez all get on our nerves. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado while still good had a short departure from his peek of last year but it was supplemented by the amazing play of Jeff Parke deep in to the season. Despite the, at times, inept or struggling fixutres, Alonso brings a certain type of stability and ferocity that is needed in the defensive half.
It’s easy to sit back and say… “Well, it’s about time”, and sure it’s surprising how frequently he is unnoticed. But really it’s just about just being grateful that we have the best defensive centre midfielder in the League on our club. And that’s not hyperbolic.