Atlanta United’s Ozzie Alonso out because of possible heart issue

Atlanta United midfielder Ozzie Alonso (right) works against Sporting KC in a MLS soccer match Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Atlanta.  “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”`

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Atlanta United midfielder Ozzie Alonso (right) works against Sporting KC in a MLS soccer match Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022, in Atlanta. “Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com”`

Atlanta United midfielder Ozzie Alonso was unavailable for selection for Saturday’s game at Colorado because of a possible issue with his heart.

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The team posted on its website that Alonso, in consultation with a team cardiologist, is being withheld for precautionary reasons while the club the awaits additional test results.

Following its 3-0 loss on Saturday, manager Gonzalo Pineda said that Alonso has two appointments with cardiologists next week. Pineda said he is optimistic. The issue with Alonso began Friday morning, according to Pineda.

Teammate Amar Sejdic said Alonso’s absence may have affected the team’s performance.

“I mean, it’s always a concern when things happen to a teammate and it’s kind of last minute notice,” he said. So, of course, we thought about him, but at the end of the day where we’re playing football and all the energy kind of has to go toward the game.”

Alonso, 36, signed with the club as a free agent and played well in its season-opening 3-1 win against Sporting KC.

The team already is without central midfielders Santiago Sosa and Franco Ibarra, who are in Argentina working on their green cards, and Emerson Hyndman, who is recovering from ACL surgery performed last season.

Other candidates on the roster to start at defensive midfielder are Matheus Rossetto, normally a central midfielder, or centerbacks George Campbell or Alan Franco, who have played it in the past.