Best Sounder

Osvaldo Alonso

There's Kasey Keller, of course, veteran and icon, and Mauro Rosales, the dazzling newcomer. But in fans' eyes, tenacious midfielder Osvaldo Alonso -who so far this season has played every second of every MLS match but one-can do no wrong. Even when in the June 11 match he committed a foul in the box that entitled Vancouver to a penalty kick (something which, if anyone else had done it, would have resulted in calls for his beheading), we just chalked it up to his pit-bull aggressiveness. And then, of course, being totally awesome, the Cuban defector made up for it later that match by scoring his first goal of the season. As if that weren't heroics enough, on July 11 he also made the PK that sealed the 3-2 victory over the loathed Portland Timbers on their home field. No Sounder more reliably bedevils any opposing player who gets the ball; Alonso seems to have the ability to see five seconds into the future and then teleport himself to wherever he knows the ball is going to be. GAVIN BORCHERT

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