SEATTLE — Safe to say Osvaldo Alonso had earned a raise.
The tenacious midfielder has been voted the Sounders FC’s MVP by his teammates the past four seasons and is often described as being the heartbeat of the team. Alonso’s reward came Tuesday in a multiyear contract extension that makes him a designated player.
Per MLS and team policy, terms were not disclosed. Alonso, 28, had been under contract through 2014 and becomes the 10th DP in franchise history.
“I am very happy for the confidence they placed in me to play several more years here,” he said in a news release. “I hope I can help bring an MLS Cup to Seattle.”
The Sounders have a full allotment of three DPs going into 2014: Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Alonso. Mauro Rosales was a DP this past season, but his contract has expired.
Alonso, signed from the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues, is one of six original MLS Sounders from 2009’s inaugural season. He has been named an MLS All-Star the past three years and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2012.
“Alonso is the model of consistency for us in central midfield,” said coach Sigi Schmid in the release. “His on-field leadership and tenacious play make him one of the top holding midfielders in the league.”
General manager Adrian Hanauer called Alonso “the ultimate competitor.”
Along with a new contract, Alonso has had much to celebrate in Seattle. The Cuban defector earned American citizenship in summer 2012 and might be involved with the U.S. national team if not for an uncooperative Cuban federation.
Still, the pay raise is another example of how far Alonso has come.
“For me, it’s unbelievable — playing here, being in Seattle with the fans,” he said. “When I look back to when I defected and to be playing right now, it’s amazing for me. I never imagined it would be like it is now.”
NOTES: Dempsey, the U.S. men’s national team captain, has been nominated for U.S. Soccer’s Male Athlete of the Year. He has won the award three times: 2007, 2011 and 2012. Reign FC’s new acquisition, Sydney Leroux, has been nominated for Female Athlete of the Year. The winners will be announced Nov. 26. ... DeAndre Yedlin told SoundersFC.com he might go to Germany in the offseason and train with Hannover 96, the team of veteran American defender Steve Cherundolo.