Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso controls the ball
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Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso excited about possibility of returning to Cuba

Osvaldo Alonso has been one of the best defensive midfielders in MLS since his arrival in the league in 2009. But to get here, the 29-year-old had to make a tough choice to leave his country.

Alonso defected during the 2007 Gold Cup, which meant that he could no longer return to his native country. But according to Alonso in an excellent interview at, he might have a chance to do so this offseason.

Now an American citizen, Alonso says he is sending his passport to the Cuban embassy to obtain permission to return to his country.

This is possible due to recent political proceedings that have relaxed Cuba's stringent travel restrictions.

“It’s going to be tough after eight years of living here, playing here without seeing my family,” Alonso said. “It’s going to be tough but exciting for me to see my friends, my family down there.”

Four Cuban players recently defected from the Cuban national team during the Gold Cup, as the team had just 19 players available for their quarterfinal loss against the US.