Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Patience pays off for Gooch
by Paul Kennedy, July 8th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Oguchi Onyewu's signing with AC Milan is an example of being in the right place at the right time. For the last year and a half, Onyewu has been linked with dozens of clubs big and small. But instead of lowly English Premier League club Birmingham City, rumored as recently as last month to have wrapped up a deal with the U.S. national team defender, it's AC Milan that won the Gooch sweepstakes, signing the free agent to a three-year contract.

Onyewu, winner of back-to-back Belgian league titles at Standard Liege, saw his stock rise for several reasons.

Because of the important role he played in Standard's recent success, management agreed to let him go as a free agent instead of selling him last season.

Onyewu has been in Belgium for six years -- one with La Louviere and five with Standard -- allowing him to become eligible for a Belgian passport that allows him to avoid restrictions major European leagues have signing non-EU players.

Onyewu has been a well-known prospect for several seasons -- he played on loan to Newcastle in 2007 -- but his stock rose in recent weeks, following his standout game against Spain in the USA's 2-0 win in the quarterfinals of the Confederations Cup.

At 6-foot-4, he has always been known as an imposing defender but his errorless game against the Spaniards was the type of game Milan will be looking for in Serie A, where Italian clubs put a premium on tactics.

Onyewu joins Milan in need of defensive support following the retirement of Paolo Maldini and return of Swiss defender Philippe Senedros to Arsenal.

The competition for playing time will be fierce -- Milan's first team includes 17 defenders -- but Onyewu should get a legitimate shot of winning a starting job under first-year coach Leonardo.

The incumbents will be Kakha Kaladze and Alessandro Nesta -- both players sidelined in recent years -- and their competition will be Italian Daniele Bonera and recent Brazilian signing Thiago Silva, as well as Onyewu.

That battle for the starting jobs in the middle of the Rossoneri defense will begin on July 19 when the AC Milan plays the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in the first of four games on a U.S. tour that takes Gooch and company to Atlanta (Club America on July 22), Baltimore (Chelsea on July 24) and Foxboro, Mass. (Inter Milan on July 26).

A hectic preseason abroad also includes the Audi Cup in Munich July 29-30, Eusebio Cup Aug. 8 against Benfica in Lisbon and the Trofeo Bernabeu against Real Madrid Aug. 25 in Madrid.

OGUCHI ONYEWU
YEAR FRANCE (GP-G)
2002-03 Metz (3-0)
YEAR BELGIUM (GP-G)
2003-04 La Louviere (24-2)
2004-05 Standard Liege (30-3)
2005-06 Standard Liege (29-2)        
2006-07 Standard Liege (15-1)
2007-08 Standard Liege (33-2)
2008-09 Standard Liege (32-3)
YEAR ENGLAND (GP-G)
2006-07 Newcastle United (11-0)

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
TV: Cincy-Chicago Open Cup match to be shown on ESPN2     
In just its second season in the USL, FC Cincinnati is racking up milestones in terms ...
MLS Today: Hunt for points intensifies    
Big rivalry matches will be played each day over the weekend -- Houston-FC Dallas, NYCFC-Red Bulls ...
MLS Closeup: By dominating at home Dynamo defies critics    
So far in this MLS season, several teams are posting remarkable records that are mirror images: ...
What They're Saying: Francisco Rios    
"The first thing I did this year when the schedule came out was to check to ...
USMNT: Our 23 picks for the Gold Cup    
U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena will announce his 23-player roster for the Gold Cup on ...
MLS: DP Qazaishvili gives Quakes new look up front    
Valeri "Vako" Qazaishvili scored 21 goals in 2014-15 and 2015-16 with Dutch club Vitesse and is ...
What They're Saying: Dax McCarty    
"You can take the ginger out of NY, but NY will still be red. Good luck ...
Texan McKinze Gaines moves to Darmstadt     
McKinze Gaines, the 19-year-old South Texas product who last season helped VfL Wolfsburg reach the U-19 ...
Confederations Cup: Sanchez sets Chile record in 1-1 tie    
Alexis Sanchez became Chile's all-time leading scorer with his 38th international goal, but the South American ...
Video Pick: Cabrera quest for creativity works for Dynamo     
Wilmer Cabrera, who played on the great Colombia team of the 1990s, has since taking the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives