Minnesota United captain and veteran defensive midfielder Ozzie Alonso will return to play a 13th MLS season in 2021.
Alonso, 35, is expected to sign a new contract this week that also will involve him in other roles with the organization, a source said.
He played 37 games in two seasons after the Loons acquired him from Seattle before the 2019 season. Last year, in a season interrupted by injury, he started 15 of 17 games in all competitions.
Alonso's return comes after the club last month signed veteran defensive midfielder and U.S. national team member Wil Trapp, 28, to play the defensive-midfielder position. That's where Alonso was a four-time MLS All Star during his 10 seasons in Seattle.
The Loons also moved up in last month's SuperDraft to select Cal-Davis defender Nabilai Kibunguchy with the 18th overall pick. Loons coach Adrian Heath called him a "top-10 talent in this draft" as well as a "gifted and versatile" defender who can play the back line and the No. 6 defensive-midfielder position as well.
Opening up Allianz Field?
Minnesota United has given plans and protocols to open Allianz Field safely to fans in various capacities this season to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's office, the Minnesota Department of Health and the state's Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The league's 34-game season will begin April 17, two weeks later than previously indicated. MLS commissioner Don Garber said Wednesday that he hoped the schedule's specifics will be announced by early March.
The Loons are coordinating their plans with the Twins, whose Target Field home opener is April 8, as well as working closely with the Wolves/Lynx, Wild and Vikings on proposals to bring back fans to Minnesota stadiums and arenas, a Loons spokesperson said.