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Legendary MLS midfielder Ozzie Alonso announces retirement



An MLS all-time great has called it a career, as Ozzie Alonso announced his retirement Monday via social media.

The 38-year-old spent the last two seasons at Atlanta United after originally making his name as a Seattle Sounders FC stalwart from 2009-18, then spending 2019-21 with Minnesota United FC.

"Reflecting on the journey, grateful for every step," Alonso wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter), adding in Spanish, "It was a beautiful road!"

Legendary midfield enforcer

The announcement ends one of the most distinguished and remarkable careers in MLS history. A native of San Cristóbal, Cuba, Alonso originally arrived stateside after defecting from Cuba in 2007 while in the United States with his country's national team.

After spending the 2008 season with USL Championship side Charleston Battery, Alonso earned his MLS breakthrough the following year in Seattle, where he established himself as one of the league's most tenacious and feared defensive midfielders.

Known for his all-out, aggressive style of play, Alonso was a crucial figure in Seattle's early MLS success, eventually helping the club win their first-ever MLS Cup in 2016. Nicknamed "Honey Badger" by the Seattle fanbase, Alonso's trophy case with the Sounders also includes four US Open Cup titles, as well as the 2014 Supporters' Shield.

He departed Seattle as a club legend in 2018, signing with Western Conference side Minnesota United, where he continued to perform at a high level. Alonso accrued 61 regular-season appearances for the Loons, scoring the first goal in the history of their home stadium, Allianz Field, on April 13, 2019.

Alonso made his final MLS stop at Atlanta United, where he signed ahead of the 2022 season, reuniting with former Sounders defensive midfield partner and current Atlanta head coach Gonzalo Pineda. His time with the Five Stripes was slowed by injury, as a torn ACL in 2022 ultimately limited him to 11 regular-season appearances with the Eastern Conference club.

In total, Alonso wraps his career with 349 MLS appearances, contributing 13 goals and 27 assists in 28,333 minutes.