Americans Abroad

Onyewu joins Malaga on season-long loan


photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

For the second straight summer, Oguchi Onyewu has secured a move to a league he has never played in before.

Deemed surplus to requirements at Sporting CP despite putting together a solid first season with the Portuguese club, Onyewu signed a year-long loan deal with Spanish outfit Malaga on Friday, hours before the summer transfer window closed.

Malaga is in this season's Champions League, so the 30-year-old U.S. men's national team centerback will have a chance to see time in one of Europe's most prestigious tournaments in addition to playing in La Liga against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Drawn in Malaga's Champions League group are AC Milan, Onyewu's former club, and he could face them for the first time on Nov. 6.

What do you think of Onyewu joining Malaga on a season-long loan? Do you see him becoming a starter? How do you think he will fare in La Liga?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Todd

    If he does well defending in the speedy and hightly tactical Spanish Liga, then it will bode well for his continued contribution to the US Men’s National Team. If he doesn’t do well then he’s way too slow for the US defense.


  • Spurs really?

    Really? How inappropriate. I wish him well he came back from what is often a career ending injury and he’s nevere afraid of the next new thing. Plus living in Malaga would be like playing for Malibu FC, the kid’s living the dream!


  • Dimidri

    Love the dude. Was great post-Gold Cup pre-qualifiers last year with Lisbon and the nats, then got re-injured.

    Kind of telling that teams the quality of Levante, Malaga, even Anderlecht and Bordeaux were going after him despite his poor performances with the nats recently. Don’t forget, hew as the leading scorer of SCP with dudes who have gone on to huge teams since before he got injured.

    He’ll be back with the USMNT at some point, at least in a reserve role.

    France–>Belgium–>England–>Italy–>Netherlands–>Portugal–>Spain. Well-traveled.


  • Freddie Footballer

    He’s got some agent. AC Milan and now Malaga? Not bad considering he’s a shadow of his former agent.


  • Old School

    Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view), I don’t think JK rates his ability after countless poor showings/clash of style.

    I don’t imagine he’ll have a part going towards Brazil 2014 and I don’t see how on Earth he’d have a part after.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is, Onyewu’s Nat’s Days are done.

    He may get a random call up or two in the meantime but the eyes don’t lie. He’s been done for awhile.


  • Ted in MN

    How the heck does Bocanegra end up playing for Racing Santadar in the 2nd division while Gooch ends up in the Champions league? Its not age since they’re both loan deals. Is there really that much difference between what we see when Onyewu and Boca are with the national team from when they’re with their clubs?


  • primoone

    From what I saw of Gooch…he improved his distribution in portugal however, he was not the most mobile of centerbacks. With that said, one would expect him to continue to improve even more in Spain. It is definitely not the Primera but it is an over-all technical league and it should provide him with opportunity to increase his skills, confidence and endurance.


  • Todd

    Sadly, I whole-heartedly agree with your sentiments. But I think that if he regain his legs (which he lost after that last knee surgery) in La Liga, JK would give him a chance as a reserve.


  • Scott

    I really think he just came back from both knee injuries too early, which made for poor showings with the national team on two successive occasions.


  • Old School

    Fair question.

    I think Onyewu (even with the injury) is a freakish specimen. However, if you look at Boca (despite being rock solid), doesn’t exactly pass the “eye test”, if you know what I mean.

    Boca will do what he’s done for a long time, however. Prove people wrong and be one of the more solid players on a squad, no matter the club.


  • GW

    US fans have beent trying to retire Gooch since long before that patellar injury. People keep burying him and he keeps coming back.

    Those guys at Malaga presumably see the same things you do and they have come to a different conclusion. One day Gooch will really be done but until it actually happens, I think I’ll hold off on writing his obituary.


  • Soothsayer HateStoppa

    I am the hate Stoppa and will stop da hate. Speakin only da truth. Ima huge SBI fan and follow all da time.

    Look, as far as Gooch goes, Good for him. It’s not all about Nats career. That we have many players playing abroad is great and makes us deeper. And the man was a stud up to his knee injury. WHO somebody PLEASE TELL ME WHO would turn down a move to AC MILAN? You know, all that chase your dream stuff. It’s pretty disgusting to watch armchair quarterbacks disparage elite athletes.

    Now, back to sport. Good for him! He’s now in another top league! Go GOOCH! Not all of us r haterz!


  • PD

    I wish him luck. If there’s a league for him to put the final touches on his game I can’t think of a better one. He’s had a journeyman’s career and regained a knee injury that could have ended his career. Hopefully he’s got 5 or 6 good years left in him to play well.

    And I don’t quite understand why this guy needs to washed up. OK maybe JK is running a NATS system that he doesn’t fit into, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad player or washed up from a career. Sometimes I think folks on this blog like chase shadows (Holden) while pissing on the players that are actually playing and moving the game forward for all auS players. Onyewu and Dempsey and Bradley are doing things with regularity that a generation ago were nearly unheard of for US players, and yet all we do is gripe about how done or disloyal or … a coach’s son they are. It’s ridiculous.


  • Jason

    Malaga’s the team that wasn’t paying their players and that’s set to financially implode, right?


  • Old School

    “US fans have beent trying to retire Gooch since long before that patellar injury. People keep burying him and he keeps coming back”

    At least respond to my statements, not the generalization you’re attempting to make.

    I’ve given the criteria of why I think his Nats days are behind him, be it full service or even part time.

    As for the other nonsense, I was one of his biggest fans but calling a duck, a duck, isn’t disrespectful. It’s just calling a duck, a duck.

    By the way, Malaga had a huge fire sale of talent. Much like the AC Milan stint, they’re getting Gooch on the cheap.

    It’s not as if they’re building around him..


  • kevin

    Regardless if his NT days are over, this is great for his career and for all Americans. Number of Americans to ever play in La Liga can be counted on 1 hand. Way to go


  • GW

    You were writing about Onyewu and the decline of his career, correct ?

    Well, Sporting made it clear he wasn’t going to play much. As far as I know Malaga haven’t set a limit on how much Gooch will play.

    You say they have had a fire sale.

    That is good for Gooch because when you see that it tells you the situation at Malaga is in flux and there is opportunity to impress, which is more than you can say for the situation at Sporting where he was truly a dead duck.

    All Gooch has to do is play well. If he does that then the situation at Malaga and with the USMNT will take care of itself. at least he now has an opportunity, which is not often given to many players in Gooch’s situation.

    If he does not impress, oh well.

    I will wait and see before I write him off at any level.


  • 2tone

    Great move for him. He was having an outstanding year last year with SCP before he suffered a minor knee injury, and was a fan favorite as well. I wouldn’t be surprisd if he becomes a starter for Malaga.


  • fischy

    Especially when you consider that Malaga is not only in the primera, it’s also in Champions League. It’s hard to imagine a higher level.


  • Old School

    “US fans have beent trying to retire Gooch since long before that patellar injury.”

    Not my words and that sentiment has never come from me prior to his injury.

    He simply hasn’t been the same player and looks even more of a fish out of water with the Nats.

    National team duty is an privilege but not a right. When you don’t have it anymore, you simply don’t.

    At this point, I have zero reason to think he has it and even less reasoning to think with age/wear and tear it will suddenly find him again.


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