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No new Chelsea bid for Onyewu

Apologies folks, that Oguchi Onyewu story I posted earlier was an old story. My mistake. No new news on a Chelsea-Onyewu link. That’s what I get for not checking the date after being emailed that story.

Now, if Onyewu magically winds up with Chelsea I will be sure to take credit for it.

Once again, apologies for the false alarm.


  1. I agree with hoyanick, the A-League is trash. (OK, trash may be too harsh.) Compared to MLS, A-League is more like USL-2.
    Fred is good at D.C. United but he made a step up after being named A-League MVP. He’ll most likely play better this season after adjusting to MLS play but he won’t be named league MVP anytime in his MLS career.

  2. The A-League on par with MLS? You lost all credibility right there man.

    I would actually rate the Jupiler League as being as close to an equal to MLS as there is. Club Brugge v. DC United or Houston? I’d actually have to say the MLS team would win that 7 out of 10 times on a neutral pitch IF, and this is a big IF, both teams had their starting eleven and there were no injuries. MLS falls behind Belgium in terms of depth – a problem all MLS teams have in international competitions.

    I don’t have the specifics here, but Mpenza went from being a superstar in Belgium to being passable in the EPL. Compare that to Dempsey, for example, who has started his EPL career strongly.

  3. Josh: It’s almost impossible to compare MLS to other leagues. A lot of MLS teams would do quite well in Scotland, but no MLS team would ever finish above Rangers or Celtic. The parity in MLS is unique. (However, I don’t know how one could even argue that leagues like the A-league are better than MLS. Remember Fred was a superstar in the A-league and is now what, the 5th best player on DC United?)

    Justin O: The Belgian league is certainly not at the level of Holland or Portugal. The easiest way to tell is that UEFA ranks both leagues higher than Belgium, and so it accordingly does not receive as many places in European competition.

    I do think that we should at least experiment with playing different center half combinations. Parkhurst or DeMerit may well end up combining better with Bocanegra. And we should try them with each other too.

  4. Its not everyday that a player gets to train and play with some of the best centerbacks in the game. And in my eyes, Titus Bramble doesn’t make that list (who Onyewu played with at Newcastle).

  5. In my humble opinion, Onyewu is vastly overrated by the national team coaching staff and by many of the US national team fans. I draw this conclusion from the fact that when we’re playing with a full-strength squad, he’s in our starting eleven.

    I believe he draws way too many fouls and cards to be a starting player for us. But I’m not saying he shouldn’t get any minutes at all — he should be used when we’re facing a team with a tall target striker or specific aerial threat. Otherwise I think the free kicks and penalty kicks other teams get from his fouls are detrimental to our defense.

    I would prefer that Jay DeMerit or Michael Parkhurst start alongside Boca in central defense.

    I think he’s a smart guy — the move to Newcastle last year was for the purpose of getting significant minutes that he would not likely have gotten at Chelsea or Real Madrid, where he would have been in a rotation. Still, I was disappointed that he didn’t perform better with Newcastle, and I was also disappointed that he didn’t take the transfers to Chelsea, Real Madrid, or Marseille when he had the opportunity.

  6. Josh,

    Wow. You don’t regard Eastern European leagues well at all do you.

    In any case, these comparisons can be kind of silly. Whatever league in Europe deserves no. 20 and whatever league deserves no. 10 are going to be very competitive with each other. Too many Americans think in terms of minor league baseball, where each drop represents a substantial difference in quality. Maybe MLS is 10 maybe it’s 20 maybe it’s 30. In any case, leagues 10-30 are going to be quite comparable.

  7. 10 leagues clearly better than MLS:

    Ligue 1
    La Liga
    Serie A
    Bundesliga 1
    Primera Division (Argentina)
    Brazilian League

    Other leagues arguably better than MLS:
    Jupiler League
    Super League Greece
    Japan League
    Israel League

    Teams that may not play in a superior league but would win the Supporter’s Shield if they played in MLS:
    Kaizer Chiefs
    Dynamo Kiev
    Steaua Bucarest
    Shaktar Donetsk
    CSKA Moscow
    Slavia Prague

    MLS is not bad, but it’s not Europe (or even South America)

  8. scott47a

    I’m no expert, but I’ve always equated the Belgian league with Holland or Portugal.

    And in any case, I don’t see why so many US fans can’t understand the appeal of Europe in general. I had a chance to live and work in Europe cleaning up at a bar. I probably could have gotten a better job at the time in the US, but that wasn’t the point.

    Same here. It’s not just salary. It’s not just soccer. For a lot of guys, the chance to live and work in Europe is much more exciting than the chance to live and work in, say, Columbus or Kansas City.

  9. He’s vastlt overrated based on my opinion. He has a million dollar body and a ten cent brain.
    The fact that he turned down offers from Chelsea and Real Mardid to secure a starting spot with the Geordies speaks volumes.
    He is big. Howevr, he’s not smart. Having said that, I do think he might be a top ten defender in the MLS.

  10. Congratulations to the super-sleuth who tipped you off! Pure genius.

    Scott…I’d agree with you. Even players playing in leagues I’d rate MLS higher than make more money than thay make here.

    I honestly would not call anyone crazy who said MLS was a top 10 league in the world. It might be a stretch, but it’s not ridiculous.

  11. One of the things I have a hard time fathoming is why players like Gooch end up in Belgium instead of MLS. Is it just more money is available in Europe?

    Because I don’t know if I buy the idea that leagues such as Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, et al. are really better than MLS.

    Spain, Italy, England, France, Holland and Portugal, sure. But Belgium?

    Am I wrong? Do I not watch enough Belgium football to understand?

  12. IVES. We would ALL like to know if you might know something about Gooch?? It has been 9 months since he left Newcastle to go back to Belguim and there has not been any word on his Status and nor has there been any rumors flying aroound like last year at this time so we are all wondering what IS up with the Big Guy???

  13. again, vastly overrated by who?

    there’s no Onyewu hype, nor has there been for quite some time…if he’s “arguably” our best CB (like i said earlier), it means he’s at least on the shortlist, which he is…if you don’t accept that, you’re just a hater…the guy’s gotten it done for us before in big games, and there’s a reason both Bruce and Bob have stuck with him.

    at the same time, i also said that statement held very little weight, considering who our centerbacks are…all i’m saying is that a guy isn’t overrated, simply because you don’t like him…people have to actually rate him a lot higher than he deserves for him to be “overrated”

  14. I agree with EastLAChiva, Onyewu is vastly overrated.

    He’s not our best centerback, he’s our *biggest* centerback. The problem is he’s an overly physical player that doesn’t play his position wisely — and frequently gets penalized for it.

    Perhaps it would be best to start Jay DeMerit or Michael Parkhurst alongside Boca in most matches, and bring in Gooch when we’re facing a team with a tall goal threat (like Jan Koller with the Czech Republic or Ibrahimovic with Sweden).

    We should certainly think twice about starting him when we’re playing a team with an excellent free-kick taker (like Beckham with England or Cacho with Mexico).

  15. At this point how could anybody think Chelsea could be interested in Onyewu? Onyewu will go to Chelsea when Bocanegra goes to Man. Utd.

    I’m sure Ives only thought this possible because of Onyewu being linked to them before and wanted to report the news quickly. Obviously Onyewu’s stock has dropped considerably after his time with Newcastle. Going straight from Belgium to the premier league is a bit of a stretch anyway. There needs to be another stop before that.

  16. overrated by who or what standards?

    he’s still arguably our best central defender, but that’s not really saying a whole lot anyway…other than that, he hasn’t really been talked about or hyped up at all, since his time with Newcastle.

  17. If I remember correctly from last winter Gooch’s contract expires at the end of this season. If my very fuzzy memory is correct I’d guess he is just biding his time until he can go on a free to somewhere in Holland(maybe Bradley can put in a good word on his way out of Heerenveen).

  18. I do remember him being there, but if I remember correctly that was under Roeder before Ashley was the owner. I think with Keegan and Ashley the club is in a better position to not only use his services but to help Gooch improve. I can see, because of his time already spent there that he may not want to go back. Wouldn’t mind seeing him at West Ham with Spector either. Also, long week, just want to get the hell out of my office 😉

  19. Completely my mistake guys. I’m away from my office and checked some email and saw this story. You might imagine why I threw it up, thinking it was new. Thankfully, a friend bailed me out with a phone call and I took it down.

  20. ADG, I’ve been wondering that same thing: What now for Gooch?

    Although, I don’t think it’s entirely fair to judge him on his time in England — it takes a while to settle under the best circumstances (i.e. Evra and Vidic at Man U), never mind the ‘Toon Comedy Show — he’s clearly not the world class defender we were all hoping for when he emerged on the scene a few years ago.

    That said, I still gotta think he’s outgrown the 3rd tier Belgium league. Frankly, Id be ecstatic if he could catch on with a solid French or Dutch side.

  21. Nick, I guess you don’t remember. But Onyewu actually was at Newcastle. Last season.
    He was paired up with the atrocious Titus Bramble and took a lot of blame, warranted and unwarranted, for the team’s defensive struggles.

  22. I saw the original posting for that then 2 minutes later it was gone, I thought I was finally succumbing to the work week.

    Regarding the supposed move though, if Gooch didn’t want to move to Madrid because he wants guaranteed first team football, Chelsea doesn’t seem like a team that he would be interested in. He would however do well at Newcastle if he could settle with the craziness that goes on with that team. They need defensive support and while it would be a great step up for Gooch, it wouldn’t have the enormous pressure of the big 3 (or 4 if you include the currently mediocre at best Liverpool).

  23. That false-start does raise an interesting question…is Gooch stuck in Belgium? I think most US fans have come to the realization that he isn’t exactly a Real Madrid or Chelsea quality player, but does he deserve to languish in a 2nd (or 3rd?) rate European league? How much longer does he stay at Liege? And if he moves, where to?


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