By DAN KARELL
After spending nearly the last two months without a club, American defender Oguchi Onyewu finally has a new home.
On Wednesday morning, English Championship club Queens Park Rangers announced that they had signed Onyewu to an undisclosed contract, after he had been on trial with the club recently. It’s the second time in his career that the 31-year-old centerback will ply his trade in England, following a brief spell on-loan with Newcastle in 2007.
“I’m thrilled to get this period over with and finally secure my future,” Onyewu said in a statement on the club’s website. “QPR are a club with huge ambitions to return to the Premier League and I wanted to be part of it. I had a really good feeling about QPR from the moment I arrived here. I’ve already integrated well into the group, so I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a very successful and happy time here.”
Onyewu was most recently contracted to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal but spent last season on loan at Malaga CF in Spain, making just nine appearances in all competitions. Since he moved to AC Milan in 2009 from Standard Liege in Belgium, the veteran defender has suffered numerous injuries including a ruptured patella tendon that nearly kept him off the U.S. Men’s National Team squad at the 2010 World Cup.
On the international scene, Onyewu has made 68 appearances for the USMNT since his debut in 2004. His last appearance came at the Gold Cup this summer in the 4-1 victory against Cuba. Onyweu represented the United States all the way from the youth levels (U-17s and U-20s) to senior levels, where he started at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as the 2009 Confederations Cup.
QPR, located in West London, are currently in second place of the 24-team Championship division in English soccer, only two points behind first-place Burnley. The team is coached by Harry Redknapp, who joined the club last year when they were still in the Premier League but was unable to save them from relegation.
“This was an opportunity that was presented to me, that I was interested in, and I’m really pleased to be here,” Onyewu said. “I want to help the club get back to the Premier League. That’s why I’ve come here.
What do you think of this news? Glad to see Onyewu back in England? Do you feel that the Championship is a good fit for him? Do you see him succeeding at QPR? Do you see this helping his chances of making the World Cup squad?
Share your thoughts below.