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Alonso's tackling advice: Go in with confidence

It came as news -- good news -- to him.

"I had no idea that I had the most touches or the most tackles," he said through a translator. "But if that’s what the statistics say, then I’m happy with that and I’m just going to continue working hard to continue doing that."

I also asked him if he's always had a knack for taking the ball from an opponent: "I haven’t always been this good at it. But every year I’ve gotten a little bit better, and I’ve worked hard at the aspects that I felt like I needed a little more improvement, and it’s obviously had a great result. I’m glad that it’s good for the team."

The conversation happened to play out on a day when youth soccer players had watched the Sounders training session, so I asked Alonso if he had a particular tip for youngsters who want to play like him.

His answer: "Every time that you go into a tackle, go in with a positive mindset that you have a lot of energy and you’re going to take that ball away, and you’ll get it."

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