Seattle Sounders rule out midfielder Osvaldo Alonso for MLS Cup final
TORONTO -- Seattle Sounders midfielder Osvaldo Alonso has been ruled out of this weekend's MLS Cup final after failing a fitness test on Thursday afternoon, MLSsoccer.com reports.
Alonso suffered a strained quad in September that he has been dealing with ever since. He made a substitute appearance versus Vancouver in the Western Conference semifinals but has otherwise been sidelined throughout the playoff push.
In past years, the absence of Alonso has been a death blow for the Sounders, but thanks to the emergence of third-year midfielder Cristian Roldan and the solidity of Gustav Svensson, Seattle has been able to soldier on to a second straight Cup final even without the influential Cuban.
In Alonso's absence, expect either Svensson or Uruguayan playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro to slot in beside Roldan in Seattle's 4-2-3-1 formation.
Saturday evening's MLS Cup between the Sounders and Toronto FC will kick off at 4 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN and WatchESPN.
Matt Pentz is a Seattle-based soccer reporter covering primarily the Sounders, Timbers and Whitecaps. Follow him on Twitter @mattpentz.