MLS players: Seattle's Alonso 'crosses the line' most, ahead of Felipe, Jones
A survey of MLS players says the Seattle Sounders' Osvaldo Alonso has the biggest reputation for crossing the line with his behavior on the field.
Alonso was by far the most popular choice in ESPN FC's poll, with answers given on the condition of anonymity. The 31-year-old was named by 25 percent of 140 current MLS players, representing 21 teams. New York City FC declined to participate.
"He gets a lot of yellow cards," one player said. "He may not be the dirtiest, but he hacks away at people."
Despite his reputation among his fellow players, Alonso has only been sent off three times in his nine-year MLS career, with two red cards in 2013 and one last October after a tussle with Houston's Will Bruin.
"I think he's an exceptional player, but I think the way he carries himself, plays for a big team, whatever it is, referees are scared to officiate him in ways similar to other players," another player said.
Alonso was retroactively suspended in June 2015 for kicking out at Red Bulls midfielder Felipe Martins, who also received a lot of complaints from his colleagues, coming in second in the survey with 11 percent of votes.
"He's gotten away with a lot," a player said of Martins. "He's vocal about getting calls when he shouldn't get calls, and he's the chippiest player I play against."
Another player said most of Martins' actions go under the referees' notice: "He just winds people up. He's an agitator. He does a lot of things that aren't punishable by referee standards, but if people found out they wouldn't be impressed."
Jermaine Jones, who joined the LA Galaxy this season, was third on the list with seven percent. One player said Jones told him "I have money and you don't."
Other players named by multiple players were Vancouver's Kendall Waston, Portland's Diego Chara, New York's Aurelien Collin and Seattle's Clint Dempsey.
For the second straight year, MLS players chose Mix Diskerud as the most overrated player in the league.
After not playing since last summer, Diskerud officially parted ways with New York City FC last week, though he remains under contract with the league. The U.S. international is nearing a loan move to Sweden's IFK, a source told ESPN FC on Monday.
Diskerud was named by 16 percent of the league, more than double the tally of anyone else, with a number of players noting his salary, which paid him $761,250 last year.
One player said: "With the salary he has, he's No. 1. He's the guy," while another added: "For what he came here to do, and what he's done and not done, it has to be Mix."
Michael Bradley was second on the overrated list at seven percent, with players also noting his $6 million salary as too high for what he brought to Toronto FC.
Other U.S. internationals again had a heavy presence on the list, with Philadelphia's Alejandro Bedoya at five percent, Toronto's Jozy Altidore at four percent and Jones at two percent.
NYCFC's Andrea Pirlo also drew four percent, with one player saying of the former AC Milan and Juventus star: "I would never have him on my team. He can't move."
Another player added: "No disrespect to him as a player, but I don't think he fits the league very well. Part of that is where they play in Yankee Stadium; it's a little bit small so he doesn't get to show off what he's best at. I also think he's a little bit past his prime."
The Chicago Fire's Dax McCarty is still considered the league's most underrated player, after sharing last year's title with Portland's Darlington Nagbe.
McCarty, who was named by nine percent of players, earned his first U.S. call-up in five years in January while also being the subject of a controversial trade from the New York Red Bulls.
"I think he does everything," one player said of McCarty. "You talk about guys that are solid at everything. He's not solid; he's very good at everything. He does everything very well."
Next on the list was Portland's Diego Chara -- "His engine is ridiculous" -- at six percent along with LA's Sebastian Lletget, followed by Montreal's Ignacio Piatti at three percent.
Also among those nominated by multiple players were Nagbe, Sam Cronin ("He changed Colorado"), NYCFC's Tommy McNamara, New England's Kelyn Rowe, and Houston's Eric Alexander.
And while Sebastian Giovinco wasn't among the most underrated, 80 percent said the Toronto FC forward was wrongly snubbed as a finalist for last year's MVP award.
ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle and Doug McIntyre contributed to this report.
Click here for the full results of ESPN FC's third annual MLS player survey.