Atlanta United’s Alonso says he has enlarged heart

Charlotte FC and Atlanta United players argue after a call during an MLS game Sunday in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Combined ShapeCaption
Charlotte FC and Atlanta United players argue after a call during an MLS game Sunday in Atlanta. (Daniel Varnado/For The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Atlanta United midfielder Ozzie Alonso said he has an enlarged heart, which is why he wasn’t able to compete in last week’s loss at Colorado.

Alonso, 36, was cleared by three cardiologists earlier this week and started Sunday’s 2-1 win against Charlotte at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alonso played 90 minutes.

“I’m happy to be back,” he said Sunday. “Everything was good; that’s why I played today.”

ExplorePhotos: Atlanta United edges Charlotte

Atlanta United officials had yet to disclose exactly why Alonso left the team while it was in Colorado before the game, which the team lost 3-0. They issued a statement in the hours before the game saying that his absence was related to a consultation with a cardiologist but didn’t reveal what the consultation was about.

Alonso said he underwent tests in Boston and New Jersey. He was cleared to return by a cardiologist affiliated with MLS, one with Atlanta United and one who is independent.

Alonso said the abnormality was diagnosed when he played in Seattle.

“It was more important for me to be safe, and I’m here and excited to be playing again,” he said. “It was a real scare for me last week, but I’m really excited to be playing again.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 Atlanta United 3, Sporting KC 1

March 5 Colorado 3, Atlanta United 0

March 13 Atlanta United 2, Charlotte 1

March 19 vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 2 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 10 at Charlotte, 1:30 p.m., ABC, ESPN Deportes

April 16 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN

April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 15 vs. New England, 2 p.m., ESPN

May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX

May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 19 vs. Miami, 4 p.m., ESPN2

June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

Aug. 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Aug. 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1

Aug. 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

Aug. 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE