Osvaldo Alonso, now in his 12th season in Major League Soccer, seems to defy Father Time with each passing year. But at age 34, the defensive midfielder knows his playing days are relatively numbered.
During a Seattle Sounders Zoom reunion for a replay of their inaugural match in 2009, Alonso asked his ex-teammates about life after soccer. Steve Zakuani, a retired player himself, flipped the question back to Alonso and inquired about how long he could play.
“Me? Five more years!,” Alonso exclaimed, laughing. “I don’t know, it depends. Last year was great, no injuries, so if my body keeps doing like that, I can play one more year. But I don’t know, I don’t know. Playing on grass – way different. Way, way different. I can feel it when I went to Seattle playing on turf, when I went to play in Vancouver.”
Alonso, a four-time MLS All-Star, signed with Minnesota United last winter after a decade-long stint with the Sounders, one where he won four U.S. Open Cups and one MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield apiece. His time in Seattle was spent on CenturyLink Field's turf surface, while the Loons' new soccer-specific stadium, Allianz Field, has grass.
But with 306 regular-season games under his belt, the mileage could catch up to Alonso. The 34-year-old added that his contract runs through 2020, with an option for 2021.
For more from Alonso and the original MLS Sounders, check out the full video above. Alonso’s remarks about retirement start at the 31:10 mark.