Minnesota United veterans Ozzie Alonso and Kevin Molino trained with the team Tuesday in the rain in Blaine. Both players were rested Sunday against LAFC because each was stiff and sore after playing two games in four days.
Alonso returns Sunday to Seattle to play a Sounders team for which he played the last decade. Second place and quite possibly two home playoff games are on the line.
“We control our own destiny,” Alonso said. “We have to go there and win the game and we stay in second place. It’s our goal.”
Alonso played against his former team and teammates in early May in a 1-1 draw when Seattle played at Allianz Field. But Sunday will be something completely different.
“It’s going to be emotional, you know?” he said. “First time back playing my former team is going to be great.”
United coach Adrian Heath said Alonso didn’t play Sunday, mindful of the upcoming playoffs and his return to Seattle on Sunday before a CenturyLink Field crowd probably 40,000 or more.
“We realize how important the game is from him this weekend,” Heath said. “I’m really looking forward to the reception he gets because he deserves it.”
Two other things from today’s training:
- Heath said newcomer Thomas Chacon “probably will be involved in some stage in the next weeks” after he hasn’t made the top 18 recently.
“When you come to a new country, learning a new language, settling in, all the stuff that goes on those first two, three weeks when you get to a new place, it’s daunting,” Heath said. “Especially for a young kid who is here on his own.”’
Heath said Chacon’s skill level was evident in Tuesday’s training.
- Asked if Tuesday’s chilly, wet weather was intended to prepare his team for Seattle, Heath said, “I felt like I was back in Manchester, I don’t know about Seattle. No sun and raining. We’re all looking forward to the game on the weekend. It’s always a great atmosphere in the stadium, maybe one of the noisiest stadiums in the league.”