Osvaldo Alonso - in Seattle - October 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. – Life at Minnesota United for Ozzie Alonso has been a happy one so far.

At the start of the year, however, the MLS veteran made what he calls a tough decision to leave the Seattle Sounders after 10 seasons. 

“It was complicated, but these are things that happen in soccer,” Alonso told MLSsoccer.com after Wednesday’s preseason friendly against New York City FC

“There was no other option but to go to Minnesota, and I’m really happy to be here. But yes, it was tough [leaving] after 10 years in Seattle, pretty much a complete life in that city.”

Alonso confirmed FC Cincinnati expressed interest in him as well as other MLS teams, but it was Minnesota’s detailed plans that attracted him to sign with the Loons as a free agent in January.

The Loons are off to a good preseason after allowing a club record 71 goals during the 2018 campaign.

On Wednesday, Minnesota defeated NYCFC 1-0 to earn its fifth consecutive shutout, three of them most recently as wins while only allowing two goals in six games during preseason play.

Alonso thus far has played a part in all of Minnesota’s preseason games.

“We know what we’ve got,” said Minnesota coach Adrian Heath on Alonso. “We got one of the better players in the league in that position. We were delighted to get him because in the end of the day, when you look at people in his position in the league, is he on the top two or three? I would think so. So, for us it’s a big pick up.”

Alonso said he knows there’s a lot of work ahead for the Loons, especially to prevent another defensive collapse.

“At the moment, it’s going well,” he said. “We’re putting in the required work that’s allowed us to earn four shutouts in our last four preseason games. I think we’re on a good path.

“Now it’s just a matter of showcasing our hard work during our season opener against Vancouver and, little by little, keeping moving forward and working for each other, so we can reach the playoffs which is the prime goal.”