After a summer of speculation about where he may wind up, Oguchi Onyewu has signed with one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Onyewu has signed with AC Milan, joining the Italian giants on a free transfer. Milan announced the signing on its club website.
A standout for Standard Liege over the past five seasons, Onyewu left the Belgian club after helping lead Liege to a pair of Jupiler League championships. He had been linked with clubs ranging from Fenerbahce to Ajax to Real Madrid, but ultimately landed with AC Milan in a deal finalized on Monday evening.
Onyewu played himself into the frame for several top European clubs after his stellar performance in the Confederations Cup, where he did well against Italy, among several other clubs. The Italy match marked the second time he had played against the Azzurri, the first being in the 2006 World Cup.
Onyewu will become the first U.S. national team player since Alexi Lalas to play in Serie A. Lalas played for Padova in 1994-95.
U.S. national team fans will have plenty of chances to see Onyewu play with AC Milan in person this summer as Milan is playing a series of friendlies in the United States. Milan will play the Los Angeles Galaxy on July 19th at Home Depot Center, Club America in Atlanta on July 22, Chelsea in Baltimore on July 24, then face Inter Milan at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. on July 26. For information tickets, you can go to the World Football Challenge website.
So is this a good move for Onyewu? In a word: Absolutely. Milan is coming off a season where lack of defensive depth was an issue and when you consider Paolo Maldini's retirement and Alessandro Nesta's inability to stay healthy, Onyewu should have every opportunity to grab hold of a starting role with the Rossoneri. That, coupled with the competition in Serie A and the opportunity to play in the Champions League, make Milan a great fit for the 27-year-old American.
What do you think of this move? Excited? Skeptical? Shocked? Overjoyed?
Share your thoughts below.
I think Gooch will need 6 months to adapt to Italian soccer: his passing is woeful by Serie A standards. Still playing with Seedorf, Pirlo, and Gattuso should help him develop his overall game.
After four transfer seasons waiting for Gooch to sign somewhere else, it is not only relief but elation to finally see the kid get what he deserves.
AC Milan’s defense has been sorely lacking the last two seasons. Gooch should be able to see time and will have a chance to grab a starting spot.
Eh, zzzzzz. Do a story when Americans start producing actual world class players.
I’m totally totally kidding. I’m so psyched and so happy for Gooch
Smart money says the Maryland native is officially introduced at the match in Baltimore on the 24th.
and johnny G, I just can’t this summer, and not for Milan (even with Gooch who may not play) anyway. 2 classes in 1 month = can’t miss many days and definitely can’t not do the work. Maybe in the fall or spring I’ll skip a day or two for the USMNT. That’s more like it.
I could not be more exicted and proud for the guy. This is the biggest signing in American history. I just hope he will get a lot of playing time and become one of the US’s best players ever.
Terrific move. I’ve noticed how much Onyewu’s distribution from the back has improved. Pirlo makes AC Milan such a fantastic team for long, accurate passing, so Gooch should get even better in that department. Just hope he gets plenty of playin time.
This is so sweet. I knew he was (or should have) being eyed by some major clubs after the Confed Cup. Good to see someone finally snatched him up. Quality + cheap + American market = brilliant, if not a few years late. Open the floodgates! Come on Donovan, Dempsey, etc., your turn!
How long before he sues a fan for being rascist?
He won’t last long there.
Although I hope it helps us for 2010.
Good luck Gooch! Buy some blinders and ear plugs!
Although it sounds cool, AC Milan-world football power, The San Siro -Mecca of Football, etc….I am calling it here and now–the great European Conspiracy Theory–against a rising US National team. I sure hope I am wrong and will eat my words if he a) gets PT and b) we perform well in WC10.
My gut tells me that he and other Nats making the move abroad this summer/winter transfer window will get little to no PT; thus crushing our chances next summer in South Africa. Seriously, even Bradley’s suspension by FIFA went overboard.
Bottom Line: The world is afraid that the immigrants finally found a niche for their great grandparents game and will do anything to stop us from dominating in yet another facet of life.
Here he is at the unveiling ceremony.
Ives, where is a photoshopped picture of Gooch in a Milan jersey?
I’m lining up to get my “Gooch” Milan shirt.
that’s all I can say. This is a much better move than I could have imagined.
Great, but will he be playing, or will he be on the bench. That is the major factor!
I assume they are waiting a couple of days for his presentation to the fans?
85,000+ at San Siro for Onyewu? Sounds likely to me.
Especially cool since I’m in need of a red jersey with an American name on it for p/u games.
If I had Gooch’s number, I’d hook him up with an Italian friend that lives near Milan to help with all the little details….
is he not playing the galaxy game on the 19th of july ives?
Wow- that is great for him and us who get FSC.
Let’s pray it works out great for him. I am being totally serious here. He has to be a regular for this to be right move.
Most likly the most important signing in U.S. soccer history and also the one with the most riding on it.
Best of luck Gooch!!!!!!!!!!!
I was in the AC Milan locker room at San Siro on Friday sitting in Maldini’s locker and thinking it couldn’t get any better than this… but to think that might be an American’s new locker… WOW! I’m completely stoked!
European perspective on the signing:
Milan could have an interesting team. Heard their looking at Adebayor and Dzeko.
Wonderful, wonderful news!!!!
Great move by Gooch. Milan will win everything in the air with Gooch, Silva and Nesta.
dammit… i was gonna root for Chelsea…
Guess I’ll just wear my USA shirt and call it a day!
As a Mexican fan I always thought Onyewu to be the one destined for the Big Time! He has the personality and presence!
About the racism, the only way to turn it around is with success, nothing more, nothing less. When Hugo Sanchez started his career in Spain with Atletico de Madrid, they would call him a ‘pinche indio’ everytime he set foot on a rivals field, and even the Atleti fans would turn on him when he “didn’t perform”. His first year at Real Madrid wasn’t much better, until he won the “Pichichi”. Obviously by the time he had one it five times (four of them consecutively), plus the European Golden Boot his detractors where forever silenced.
Best of luck to Onyewu!
lol at the store being the only thing you can go to by clicking on the american flag…gotta love those italians. racism will be a problem until gooch looks in the direction of whoever is chanting…id say theyd stop after a 6 4 massive black man gives them a borgetti esque stare down.
Lets hope Gooch doesn’t experience the same racism that Mario Balotelli experiences in the same city.
Great for Gooch! It’s going to be very tough! It’s one thing to play for a great team and a very different thing to win championships and make your mark with a great team!
Hope it pans out well!!!
Does that mean he will be playing with Beckham?
I just registered via the AC Milan website and asked what his number would be.
Second soccer jersey I ever owned was Maldini’s #3 from AC Milan.
I might just have to pick up a Gooch one.
Congratulations, Gooch. Only better move to Milan would have been to Inter to play for Special One. Do it.
First of all – WOW!
Can’t stand Serie A – puts me to sleep everytime I try to watch it. Maybe now I will be able to stay awake. Pretty sick move. I hope he gets playing time THIS season. Serie A suits his game. He should do well there it’s just a matter of when he will get into the line-up.
Can all the whiners shut up about racism. A professional athlete can shrug off monkey noises and name-calling. Stop being such babies!
News as big as Gooch himself! Love this move.
really feel great for Gooch. He deserves the big pay day. I wish some of these posters could just rejoice for the brother- at least for today. This is about Gooch guy. It’s not about us. Now for the big Donovan signing.
Im been saying this………. i have been wathing Onyewu’s footwork this 2009 calender year..and the guys footwork has improved ten-fold….many times in the Confederations cup Onyewu dribbled the ball out of the back with confidence and a little technique. AC Milan dosent come calling unless he had improved in that area………and he did.
YESSSSSSSSSS and Milan is one of my fav teams…holy cow.
This is really impressive. Hope the rest of the boyz get good offers too…
Its cool and crappy at the same time, since i support roma
As for the how much playing time he could get, Nesta is always a lock to start, but after that I could see a battle for the second spot between Kaladze, Bonera, Thiago Silva, and Gooch.
I love it, and it looks he and his people played it perfectly: “Massive” club, fair shot at playing time, and obviously a big payday.
Ajax would have been 100 times better for him
This will be the first of a few transfers I’m sure for the yanks. But this will likely be the highest in profile of course. Not since Damarcus Beasley when he played for PSV has an American stood such a good chance of reaching deep into the rounds of the champions league. I hope AC Milan can continue to re-build.
I think Gooch will look good in a Ferrari, he’s-a de-best! Ciao!