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Morning Ticker: Onyewu extends AC Milan deal, Ballack ruled out and more

Oguchi Onyewu 4 (Reuters)


Oguchi Onyewu's first season at AC Milan wasn't the one he had hoped for, but that hasn't stopped the U.S. international from extending his stay with the club.

Onyewu has extended his deal with Milan by one year, meaning he is under contract with the club until June 2013. The most intriguing part of the extension is that Onyewu has requested not to be paid during that final year, a decision impacted by the knee injury that sidelined him for much of this season.

The news of Onyewu's extension comes on the day that the U.S. national team's pre-World Cup camp is set to begin. Onyewu, who has not played a match since Oct. 14 of last year, is one of nine defenders hoping to make the team.

Here are some more stories from Monday:

Ballack to miss World Cup

Michael Ballack's World Cup dreams are over. 

Having suffered an ankle injury in Chelsea's 1-0 FA Cup final win over Portsmouth on Saturday, Ballack has been ruled out of playing in his third World Cup. The knock will sideline Ballack for eight weeks, leaving Germany without its captain and midfield ace this summer.

Toronto FC's Zachary Herold retires

Toronto FC and U-17 U.S. national team defender Zachary Herold has been forced to retire from professional soccer due to a health condition. Herold suffers from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) – which causes abnormal thickening of a part of the heart muscle and could lead to a potentially fatal heart rhythm – and it was detected during medicals administered in pre-season. Herold has since been consulted by several experts in the U.S. and Canada, and the safest route for him was to retire.

Toronto's second round pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft, Herold will be honored in a ceremonial coin toss in Toronto FC's match against the New England Revolution on May 22.


What do you think of Onyewu extending his stay with AC Milan for free? Upset to hear Ballack is out of the World Cup? Disappointed by Herold's retirement?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Second course, 4/2009
    “Michael Ballack and Lukas Podolski almost came to blows in the second half of Germany’s 2-0 victory in Cardiff, with Podolski apparently objecting to being told what to do by his captain.
    He had to be pulled away from Ballack by a teammate…”

  2. I agree with this poster at FoxSoccer,

    “I think the injury will be good for both Germany and Ballack. Germany will be more fluid in mid-field without Ballack, and Michael will not have his imaged damaged by being in one too many WC’c like Cladio Reyna did in 2006 WC.”

  3. exactly – for some reason others fins this confusing, but this looks to be his simple plan. If Gooch is still in milan in 2012, he will be paid and rewarded for this move in 2013.

  4. Too bad for Herold, wish the kid well for whatever he ends up doing.
    Gooch’s contract very much reminds me of the incentive-based contract when Ricky Williams was a rookie. Not sure how smart that move was. Everybody needs money. Though I’m sure he was compensated handsomely the past year.

  5. what gooch did is fairly unique in the sports world – we have become so accustomed to the blah blah blah about athletes wanting to renegotiate after a great year but are mum after a poor year – Gooch took it a step further – hopefully it works out for both sides AND Gooch can look himself in the mirror every day with pride

  6. Lets see, how about this for an appetizer,

    “The Chelsea midfielder is unhappy with the way Frings and Kevin Kuranyi have been sidelined by Low, suggesting they have been treated with a lack of respect and asking: Where are we going to end up?”

    These remarks have left Low seething and he wants to speak to Ballack face to face.

    He said today: I will telephone Michael Ballack and summon him for a talk in Germany.

    (I will) tell him that I am hugely disappointed with the route he has chosen and that the remarks he has made are unacceptable.”

    Ballack’s future as Germany captain and his whole international career are riding on the discussion and Low has not ruled excluding Ballack in the same way as he ended Kuranyi’s international career, at least temporarily, 10 days ago.”

    Interesting, Low is seething and thinking about dumping Michael. Correct, Low is not a player, just the manager. I stand corrected.

  7. Wolfgang Depenr said in reply to madmax…

    “Where is your evidence for this?”

    From the Germans I talk to, Ballack is no longer their dish of strudel. Some still hope he’d elope with Frings. Of course, this is not a big enough sample to please everyone.

    Evidence for opinion? You would need a poll, no?

  8. Hay Fischy,

    Shut up or make a point!!

    If we all misspelled Botang? Sorry.

    Either way share some insight, or for you it may require some thought.

  9. Gooch’s “deal” is embarassing for US players, it kills future US players’ deals (ahh, the Yanks will play for free if it means getting on a European squad!), and it’s bad for his development to stay there — even when he was healthy, he wasn’t cracking the squad.

  10. Tough break for Herold. After watching him play with the U-17, I definitely thought he and Tyler Polak were the fullbacks of the future for the US. He was a versatile defender. A loss for the future of US soccer. Wish him all the best.

  11. Where is your evidence for this? Ballack is close to a national institution, widely respected. I would speculate that none of his teammates would want to go into a game never mind a tournament without him.

  12. And Kevin Prince Boateng is the grand-nephew of Helmut Rahn, who scored Germany’s winning goal in its 1954 world cup victory. Talkin’ about a family feud.

  13. I know that everybody is focused on Gooch, please do not forget the kid Harold. My son recently went through the same disease at a much younger age than him. The disease that he has is extremely dangerous and life threatening and is the same disease that ultimately took Hank Gathers way to soon. This kid has many challenges facing him, and depending on how it progresses the only thing he can do to be cured is a heart transplant. Pleae pray that God provides a new dream and a new passion, because he is going to face a greater foe than see Brazil on the otherside of the pitch with only him on the field. God Bless you Zachary Harold

  14. “Michael Ballack’s World Cup dreams are over.”

    There are many Germans, perhaps even teammates, who are not disappointed with this news.

  15. IVES:
    What are the chances Ballack comes to MLS? I know he may have suggested he didnt want to come to a “retirement” community in the past, but could he still draw $5m/year in Europe?

  16. Milan will not return the same level of loyalty if he were to get injured again. Makes no sense to me. But then again, he may have decided that playing on a world-class team is more important to him than the money. For that it is admirable.


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