Ozzie Alonso will miss Saturday night’s game against Orlando City with a thigh strain in his right leg, and Minnesota United is treating the injury with an abundance of caution to avoid an extended layoff, a source told the Pioneer Press.
Alonso, the Loons’ captain defensive midfielder, will be replaced by rookie Hassani Dotson against the Lions at Allianz Field.
Alonso suffered the same injury at one point during his decade with the Seattle Sounders from 2009 to last season. He tried to play through the injury before missing an extended stretch.
The Loons are in a congested Western Conference race to the MLS Cup playoffs and don’t want to risk Alonso missing the bulk of its final push. After Saturday, United has eight regular season games in addition to the U.S. Open Cup final on Aug. 27.
This bigger-picture focus means Alonso will at least be questionable for Minnesota’s next game against Sporting Kansas City on Thursday.
Alonso, 33, has played 1,918 minutes in 22 of the Loons’ 25 MLS games this season. He appeared to tweak a right shoulder bruise in Minnesota’s 1-0 win over Colorado on Wednesday, but he played through it. That injury occurred July 13 against FC Dallas and he missed the next game, July 20 game at Real Salt Lake. Alonso also missed two other games due to rest this season.
Minnesota’s trade of Christian Ramirez to Los Angeles FC in August 2018 included the potential for United to receive an additional $200,000 in MLS budget funds based on Ramirez’s performance.
That’s still possible with Ramirez’s subsequent trade this August from LAFC to Houston, a source said.
Ramirez scored in his Dynamo debut last Sunday to give him five goals in 1,027 minutes with L.A. and Houston. It’s unclear what production would trigger the additional $200,000 to come to United. Minnesota received $800,000 over 2018 and 2019 in exchange for Ramirez.