Top Stories

Friday Kickoff: Onyewu trains with USMNT, English clubs win in Europa and more

Oguchi Onyewu 1 (

Photo by

Oguchi Onyewu took to the practice field Thursday and trained for the first time since being sidelined with a ruptured patellar tendon in the U.S. men's national team's World Cup qualifier vs. Costa Rica last October.

Onyewu took part in 30 minutes of light training with the U.S. national team, which is preparing for Wednesday's friendly vs. El Salvador in Tampa. He is expected to train with the team on Friday before the national team leaves Carson, California for Tampa.

Onyewu underwent surgery to repair the ruptured tendon just four months ago, and is expected to rejoin club team AC Milan by the end of the month.

Here are some other stories to get your Friday going:


English clubs finished a perfect 3-0 in the first leg of Europa League Round of 32 after Liverpool and Fulham followed up Everton's win on Tuesday with victories of their own.

Liverpool needed an 81st-minute game-winner from David Ngog to post a 1-0 victory at Anfield in the first leg of its Europa two-leg series vs. Unirea Urziceni.

Fulham also needed a second-half game-winner, with Bobby Zamora blasting home a 63rd-minute winner in the Cottagers' 2-1 victory against defending Europa League champion Shakhtar Donetsk at Craven Cottage. Fulham will travel to the Ukraine for the second leg next week.

Here are the other Europa League results from Thursday:

Rubin Kazan 3, Hapoel Tel Aviv 0

Villarreal 2, VfL Wolfsburg 2

FC Twente 1, Werder Bremen 0

Standard Liege 3, Red Bull Salzburg 2

Lille 2, Fenerbahce 1

Ajax 1, Juventus 2

Club Brugge 1, Valencia 0

Hertha Berlin 1, Benfica 1

Hamburg 1, PSV Eindhoven 0

Athletic Bilbao 1, Anderlecht 1

Atletico Madrid 1, Galatasaray 1

FC Copenhagen 1, Marseille 3

Panathinaikos 3, Roma 2


Defending Copa Libertadores Estudiantes were mauled by Peruvian side Alianza Lima, 4-1, in Peru on Thursday night. Wilmer Aguirre's first-half hat-trick was enough to dispose of Juan Veron's squad. American Michael Hoyos did not dress for Estudiantes.

Universidad de Chile won Thursday's other Copa Libertadores match, riding a Juan Manuel Oliveira penalty kick to a 1-0 victory against Venezuelan side Caracas FC.


Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy could be on the way out of the blue side of Manchester after a reported clash with manager Roberto Mancini. The fiery Welshman apparently didn't like Mancini's rigorous training methods and refused a training assignment, which led the Italian manager to kick Bellamy out.


Women's Professional Soccer released its 2010 schedule (opener is April 10 between Washington Freedom and Boston Breakers in Maryland.)

D.C. United waived goalkeeper Milos Kocic (at least in part because of prospect Bill Hamid's stellar pre-season).

Former Real Salt Lake defender Ian Joy signed with the Portland Timbers.


What do you think of these developments? Surprised to see Onyewu training already? Surprised by Liverpool's struggle?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. He’s got degenerative knee injuries that limit the amount of training he can do, kind of like Ledley King. My guess is that Mancini asked him to do something he thought would injure him and he refused to do it.

  2. Good to hear that Gooch is doing well.

    Yesterday Alianza surprised the hell out of me, not because they won, but how they did it…. estudiantes mas chuewkos.

  3. Yeah thats a big loss to the league. What a shame too as they played an exciting brand of soccer. Just shows that the worst economic period in over 50 years is a bad time to be starting new leagues/teams. I hope they make a comeback at some point though.

  4. ding ding ding!
    +1 for SBI Daily Best Post Vocab with “svelte” (though “Anthracite” comes in a close second) lolz

  5. I personally like the way a lot of non-English-speaking countries refer to their teams: by color (Azzuri, Albiceleste, Les Bleus, La Furia Roja, etc.). Not sure how you’d do that with the US though, since we don’t really have a color nailed down (blue? white? anthracite grey?), and Stars & Stripes is just too cumbersome.

  6. I thought the nickname of the USMNT was the “Stars and Stripes,” but I guess we would be something like the Invincible Eagles if we go with your preference.

  7. Not sure about any of that. Whenever I read about the English national team in British papers, they simply talk refer to “England” (e.g., in the Guardian: “England, far from getting a virtual bye into the knockout stages, are in the fourth toughest group at the 2010 World Cup.”). Same with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, etc. (I’m just mentioning English-speaking nations, for obvious reasons).

    What I’m saying is — of course we’re talking about the men’s national team…who else would we be referring to? “Onyewu trains with the US” tells me all I need to know.

    I’m just thinking out loud here. It seems natural to me to talk about the “USMNT” now after years of following the team and reading/writing it all the time, but at first it seemed odd.

  8. I think I read somewhere that all the other national teams use the word football in some wording to represent their national team. This wouldn’t work in the US because of our other “football” so they came up with USMNT.

  9. This is good news regarding Oneywu. There’s no need to hurry here. It’s February, and the WC is 4 1/2 months away. What we don’t want is a rush to return, and a subsequent re-injury.

  10. USMNT is better than “Yanks” (always makes me think of a group of red necks (don’t know why)) and “Pats” which I have heard recently…

    Why? The US is one of the only nations to put women’s sports on par with men’s in terms of “respect” – something to be proud about I would say…

    Let’s have an Ives vote for a new nickname – something closer to Indomitable Elephants : )

  11. All good points. It’s no big deal. I’ve just always thought it was an unwieldy acronym (but one that I use all the time online, by the way!)…

    Plus there’s the added embarrassment of having to make it clear that when you talk about your national team, you’re not talking about the women’s squad…

  12. It’s an overall question, not a critique of you, Ives. I know everyone “in the circle” uses it and knows what it means, I just think it’s redundant and arcane. And when I first started following soccer, I had absolutely no idea what it meant.

    (I had a feeling I’d draw the ire of a parenthetical “SBI” comment. I feel honored.)

    (SBI-Come on Omar, there’s no ire there (and I didn’t take it as a critique). That’s why I put the LOL, to let you know I wasn’t being that serious (I know you’re an SBI Mafia veteran). Seriously speaking though, is it that big of a deal? I think the USMNT acronym is known by most American fans and they identify with it. Redundant? Perhaps, but so is NYPD, and I don’t hear New Yorkers saying, “Just call it PD” or “call it NYP”. I’m just not a fan if simply putting USA in a headline, I think USMNT is more descriptive and easier to use in a headline than ‘National Team’.)

  13. Bellamy is a puss. He’s a professional athlete. No one likes doing wind sprints but you have to suck it up.

    TGIF has risen to new heights after reading the article about Gooch. Maybe he could possibly make the Champions league squad in three weeks?

    I’m honestly shocked Fulham won yesterday. They are missing so many key players. It would be great if they progressed to the next round.

  14. Bellamy is such a clown. If you watch him play…he curses at everyone non-stop. The river Kwai has nothing on the way he burns bridges. I wonder where his next stop will be….Bolton? …Hull?

  15. Good. I think Gooch will be ready to go. And let’s be honest, in June all that matters is that he has complete mobility and his fitness level is relatively back to normal. He doesn’t need to be starting every game for Milan.

    By the way, why can’t we do away with the “USMNT” moniker, and just call our national team “the USA”? Why do we constantly have to specify we’re not talking about the women’s team, or under-20s, etc.? It’s odd.

    (SBI-Did you know what I meant when you read USMNT? Well, if you did, then it served the purpose. Consider it a nickname if you want, either way it’s WAY too early in the morning for this conversation. LOL)


Leave a Comment