ST. PAUL — As a 10-year member of the Seattle Sounders, Ozzie Alonso has an extensive history in the Cascadia rivalry against the Portland Timbers.
Now with Minnesota United, Alonso added another chapter with Portland in the Loons’ 1-0 victory Sunday at Allianz Field.
During the 19th minute, Alonso said there was an incident with new Timbers striker Brian Fernandez.
“I feel something behind me, but if it was spitting or something like that,” Alonso, United’s captain, said Monday. “They checking the replay. They don’t see anything.”
The game was stopped as referee Chris Penso checked with the video-assisted referee (VAR), and Alonso shared his opinion. No footage of the scene was shown on the ESPN broadcast, but commentators Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman relayed what they saw on the VAR feed available to them in the booth.
Twellman speculated there was spitting, while Champion was more measured in his view.
“It does seem that Alonso reacts actually as Brian Fernandez has turned on his heel and is walking away,” Champion said. “Certainly nothing conclusive.”
United coach Adrian Heath didn’t see the alleged incident, but thought the immediate fallout may have provided a clue.
“I think the fact that their bench came out and were telling (Fernandez) to calm down, that maybe have said something,” Heath said.
A follow-up arbiter is the MLS Disciplinary Committee, which looks at these issues and sends down punishments if it sees fit.
Fernandez does have a recent history with spitting. In April, he was suspended three games for spitting toward a fan while with Necaxa in Mexico’s Liga MX.
With this as a subplot, the Loons and Timbers have an immediate rematch in the U.S. Open Cup semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday in St. Paul.
“I play so many times with them when I was in Seattle — always a battle,” Alonso said. “Now here in Minnesota, I take it the same. I don’t want to lose with Portland. That’s why I take it serious.”
In the other Open Cup semifinal, Orlando City plays Atlanta United on Tuesday. If Orlando and Minnesota win, the Loons would host the final at Allianz Field on Aug. 27 or 28. If Atlanta wins, it would host the title match.
Amos Magee, United’s director of player personnel, was a U.S. Open Cup hero in 2001, and that moment spawned a nickname in Illinois.
“I still go back to Chicago and people still yell at me, ‘Hey, Chesty!’ ” Magee said Monday.
While on loan from the Minnesota Thunder, Magee used his chest to score the golden goal in the Chicago Fire’s 3-2 quarterfinal victory over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Magee played 14 MLS games with Chicago and the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 2000-02; that came during a 107-game career with the Thunder from 1992-2003. He is the Thunder’s all-time leading scorer with 64 goals.
Heath said no players are dealing with anything more than bumps and bruises after Sunday’s game. Loons leading scorer Darwin Quintero will be eligible to play Wednesday after serving a one-game MLS suspension for yellow card accumulation. Heath said he will “freshen up” the starting 11, but added he will put his best team on the pitch. So it will be interesting to see if there are any changes beyond the expected one in Quintero. … Midfielder Rasmus Schuller was one of the last players to leave the training grounds after Monday’s session, a sign he remains committed despite not playing in eight of the team’s past nine MLS games.