In a much rumored move that is now official, US defender Oguchi Onyewu heads heads to join FC Twente on loan through the remainder of the season from AC Milan
Onyewu, 28 and coming off an injury plagued 2010, will be rejoining manager Michel Preud’homme who we last played for at Standard Leige before his Milan move that saw the defender get but one game–in the Champion’s League–for the Serie A leaders.
#WorldCupFever! Three weeks to Redemption, South Africa!
• A lot of centerback chatter yesterday. Should you read between the lines? TSG advises not yet. But here’s what’s been “reported.”
Steve Goff, who’s been on top of everything thus far, suggests that Eddie Johnson and Chad Marshall may be slashed from the 30 as they’ve barely got any practice. He also suggests that March 3rd pairing Jay DeMerit and Carlos Bocanegra will be the starters–cue Peter Crouch.
Then again Goff comments that Heath Pearce faces the longest odds. The challenge with that juxtaposition is if Boca goes middle, you have Bornstein on the wing and then precisely who as the back-up (Jonathan Spector, DaMarcus Beasley?). Does the USMNT go with just seven defenders (if Marshall is ailing) with a few (DeMerit, Boca, and Gooch) not being at full strength. That might be difficult.
• Meanwhile, after playing security expert yesterday, Grant Wahl is playing doctor today and suggesting that Oguchi Onyewu appears to be slightly favoring one leg in practice. That wouldn’t be a good thing, but hopefully the speculation will lead to more commentary.
…TSG was just about to reach out to find out what was up with Oguchi Onyewu….or as John Harkes calls him “Onyewu Oguchi.”
Says it all...
According to Soccernet–yes Soccernet–Gooch’s knee is “close to 100 percent” and he expects to play for AC Milan in May.
From the Ocho:
“Things are going really well,” says Onyewu, whose original prognosis after the injury in the final qualifying match against Costa Rica was at least a six-month recovery period. “Everything is still ahead of schedule in terms of the whole process.”
But he adds, “We’re being very cautious.”
“I’m not going to put any deadlines on anything,” he said, “but right now, I’m fine-tuning. I’m just about ready.”
Is Omar Gonzalez or Brandon McDonald a sign that you don’t believe Oguchi Onyewu will ready despite reports–is it telling that you have 5 central defenders in camp? How much of a factor for South Africa is rooted-to-Columbus defender Chad Marshall?
The notion of a balking backline has been creeping in all of qualification. The signal grew louder August 12th in Mexico. In Trinidad & Tobago, even louder and to a crescendo October 14th in RFK.
Tim Howard added insult to questionable performance with a mic’d up, “Every f%^king time!” howl that wasn’t personally directed, but could have been.
While both Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit were bit by the injury bug, the biggest question that TSG has is “Does Carlos Bocanegra have a spot in the starting back line in South Africa? And if so, where is it?”
This is Part of I of II where the Shinguardian will dissect Boca’s role in defense….Part I today is central defense; next will be at wingback.
Captain America: Riding out a rough patch for club and country....
The fan in us has some serious trouble even contemplating that statement above, the analyst must ask the question.
Captain Integrity Bocanegra did not factor for his club team, Rennes, in December.
Stades Rennes seems to have went younger by reshuffling their backline. Rennes has inserted Senegalese big man Abdou Kader Mangane in their central defense, moving French nattie player Rod Fanni (that’s an unfortunate name, no?) out to rightback, pushing right back Romaine Danze out to leftback. Boca hasn’t had a whiff of the pitch.
TSG’s The Beautiful Game series explores how soccer makes a difference around the globe.
USMNT’s own Oguchi Onyewu appeared on Good Morning America today to promote the partnership forged by Nike and (RED) to fight AIDS in Africa. His appearance and the launch of the Lace Up. Save Lives. campaign coincided with World AIDS Day. In addition to Gooch’s support of the initiative, players from around the world are supporting the campaign including fellow USMNTer Clint Dempsey.
Be sure to watch to the end of the video as host Robin Roberts asks Gooch about his prospects of playing in the World Cup this coming summer. The best that can be said about Onyewu’s multi-part response is that he is (very) cautiously optimistic as he states, “I am confident that hopefully I will get the opportunity [to play in the World Cup].”
(RED) is an idea and “a business model created to raise awareness and money for the Global Fund by teaming up with the world’s most iconic brands to produce (PRODUCT) RED branded products. A portion of profits from each (PRODUCT) RED product sold goes directly to the Global Fund to invest in African AIDS programs, with a focus on women and children.”
(RED)’s partnership with Nike produced a pair of red shoe laces for Nike to sell to support the cause. According to Nike, “One hundred percent of the profits from (NIKE)RED laces will be split equally between The Global Fund…which funds AIDS programs…and football-based community initiatives that deliver education and understanding around HIV/AIDS prevention.”
As soccer is truly the global game it has the ability to make an impact in all corners of the world on a variety of issues including homelessness, education, disability and now AIDS. Yet another reason to love this game.
The finalists for each award were nominated on the basis of: a) competing and excelling at the highest level (both at the national team and professional level) during the calendar year; b) exhibiting decorum on and off the field that reflects well on U.S. Soccer; and c) contributing toward the growth, development, credibility and popularization of soccer in the USA.
Another piece of hardware for Donovan's already crowded 2009 trophy case?
With all of his accolades and press this year, one would expect Landon Donovan to take this one in a walk. The criteria of club play adds an interesting wrinkle as Donovan clearly isn’t “competing and excelling at the highest level” playing his club ball stateside. However, Lando has been the best performer on the national team this year.
Weighing club play more heavily…
Clint Dempsey should get a boost in his bid for the award as a regular starter and current dangerous striker for Fulham in the EPL. Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu had stellar first halves of 2009 for Everton and Standard Liège, respectively. However, Howard has had a statistically poor ’09-’10 campaign behind a suspect Toffee defense while Onyewu’s much ballyhooed transfer to AC Milan resulted in little playing time before his October injury.
I’ll let you folks can chime in on who has or has not been true to criteria “b” above. And of the five finalists, Onyewu probably comes out on top for criteria “c” as his transfer to AC Milan from Standard Liège was viewed and celebrated as a big step forward for American soccer, regardless of his lack of playing time.
The winner will be crowned through voting by fans on US Soccer.com (50%) and media members and US Soccer representatives (collectively, 50%). One can assume that Bob-O can’t vote for Junior, right?
Who are you guys voting for?
Fan voting will be open through December 13th along with all of the Best of 2009 awards, like Best Soccer Blog. (hint…hint.)