Osvaldo Alonso improving, but Seattle Sounders in no rush to force midfield destroyer back into mix

Osvaldo Alonso

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TUKWILA, Wash. — The Seattle Sounders were welcomed back from their five-day training break with an abbreviated beep test. One player was noticeably allowed to skip it: Osvaldo Alonso.

The defensive midfielder continues to rehab what the team has deemed a “slight tear” in his right quadriceps and his status is remains unclear when the Sounders visit Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

“He’s getting better,” head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters on Monday. “Today he ramped it up a little bit and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. It’s sort of a day-by-day situation.”

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Alonso has been unable to play a full match since May 11, as two different injuries have forced him out of the two games he’s played since then and caused him to entirely miss two other matches.

Although the Sounders have gone 3-1-0 in those matches, they have given up eight goals without the Cuban on the field. Dating back to the start of the season, Seattle have given up 11 goals in 488 minutes without Alonso and just four goals in 682 with him.

Perhaps because of that statistical disparity, the club is wary of rushing Alonso back even if it is against a Western Conference rival. Also factoring into the decision is the reality that the Sounders’ next game after RSL isn’t until July 3.

“We’re trying to make sure that we make the right decision going into this game and we don’t rush him back for the Salt Lake game and then lose him again,” Schmid said. “If he’s ready to play, we’ll play him because he’s an important member of our team. What it does is if he’s not ready, it says in our mind let’s not push it, not be silly.”