Onyewu’s Milan move has U.S. teammates excited

Oguchi Onyewu (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                            Photo by ISIphotos.com

BY DYLAN BUTLER

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  As news of Oguchi Onyewu's move to AC Milan on a free transfer reached the U.S. National Team here, Charlie Davies couldn't help but be excited. Yes, he's thrilled for his Confederations Cup teammate, but seeing an American player go to one of the world's biggest clubs he thinks can hopefully break down barriers for others.

"Gooch signing with AC Milan opens a lot of doors for Americans and makes a lot of clubs realize that Americans can play," he said after the U.S. training session Tuesday morning at RFK Stadium. "Hopefully now younger guys coming up can have a dream that they can play at Madrid, they can play at Milan because now Gooch has been able to break the barrier."

After a breakout performance in the Confederations Cup, Davies' stock is on the rise, as well. The Hammarby striker has drawn interest from Ligue 1 sides Rennes, St. Etienne and Sochaux.

"For me it's definitely exciting to hear all these clubs talking about me and wanting me for my services," Davies said. "At the moment, I'm just focusing on the national team and continuing to have success with this team. Hopefully everything will sort itself out soon."

Onyewu will become the first U.S. national team player to play in Serie A since Alexi Lalas played for Padova in 1994-95.

"It's a fantastic move for Gooch,its great for American soccer players," Steve Cherundolo said. "We wish Gooch all the best. He certainly deserves it. He had an excellent tournament in South Africa and has played solidly the past few years. I just want to congratulate him."

Onyewu, who played at Standard Liege for five seasons, also drew interest from Ajax, Real Madrid and Fenerbahce.

"It's very exciting," Bob Bradley said. "It's one of the great clubs in the world. Certainly, the experience that he'll get there will really be important as we move forward with our national team."

What do you think of the move? Will it open doors for other Americans. Who would be the next likely candidate to go to a European giant? Share your thoughts.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, European Soccer, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

119 Responses to Onyewu’s Milan move has U.S. teammates excited

  1. Steve says:

    I really hope that Donovan also moves to a European league soon. I don’t understand why some La Liga teams wouldn’t be interested in him…

  2. quakes fan says:

    It’s all about playing time. Hopefully, he gets it.

  3. Johnny says:

    the MLS has a strangle hold on Donovan and will not let him go.

  4. dena says:

    Looking at Milan’s depth chart at CB it seems that at worst Gooch would be 3rd or 4th choice, and since Milan will play on 3 fronts this year he is bound to get games in. Hopefully during pre-season training and friendlies he shows Leonardo his stuff.

  5. Mighty says:

    He is not the first American to Play in Seria A….in the last ten years… didn’t The New York kid play for an Italian team… not Rossi another kid…. Ferrari was his name i believed.

  6. Juan-John says:

    MLS hasn’t received an offer high enough to make them want to let Donovan go.

  7. Metro boy till da day I die says:

    I don’t think davies is a good player ,. I think he has major potential to be a good player but still has a lot to learn . I really do hope that whichever club he goes to that he gets the right training that he needs to become a good player. Gooch to Milan is exciting , hopefully they will pick up two great strikers

  8. Optimist Primer says:

    Great for Onyewu! Great for US Soccer, congrats Gooch, this just confirms what many of us already believe: you are a world class defender.

    Hopefully we’ll see Gooch’s Center-back partner, Jay Demerit, on the transfer block soon. They both had great tournaments and warrant moves upward and onward.

    Don’t Tread on This!

  9. wilbur06 says:

    ferrari never played in serie a. i think he only played in a tournament game. and then he got loaned to a serie c team

  10. UnionMan says:

    AHHHH Great news Gooch! Can’t wait to buy the #5 AC Milan jersey with Onyewu on it!! FORZA MILAN!!!

  11. John in FL says:

    Mighty,
    U.C. Sampdoria own Gabriel Ferrari, but he never played for them, he was loaned out to Perugia Calcio that plays in the Lega Pro Prima Divisione – B.

    So gooch is indeed the first American toplay in Series A once he takes the field ( unless Ferrari beast him to it for Sampdoria).

  12. John in FL says:

    First to play since Lalas…wish we could edit previous posts lol

  13. FredMacMurray says:

    All these comments about playtime are a bit off base I think. This is not Freddy we are talking about here – this guy is 27 years old, with a World Cup, a Confed Cup Finals, and 2 european league titles on his resume (not a top leageu maybe, but still…) While he is a bit lower profile then some other Americans, he is really the closest thing we have to a full fledged international football star. He is not coming in to sit the bench – I will be very suprised if he is not an integral part of the defense this season.

  14. abc says:

    This is great news! Slowly more and more americans will play for bigger clubs. I think donovan would be great in La Liga

  15. Jacob A. says:

    He’s not the first, he’s the first since Lalas

  16. MensreaJim says:

    As has been stated many other times, Landon has a weird situation and isn’t going anywhere barring a very irrational decision by Galaxy management (or a shocking bid from Europe):

    He has failed to impress in three trips to Europe (the last one being very badly calculated, imo), but there is no way MLS/AEG lets him go for $5mil or whatever could be expected. I believe it’s been reported that he has two years left on his contract, at which point you have to assume he goes to a big league, but as a free transfer and at nearly 30 years old.

  17. harry says:

    If the US players get in mighty form with the club season this year(meaning playing every game).the US could be dangerous in the World Cup.

    Onyewu with AC Milan

    Davies with?

    Donovan with ?

    Jozy with ?

    Adu with ?

    Bradley with BM or ?

    Edu with rangers

    Demerit with ?

    Spector with West Ham

    Dempsey with Everton(?)

    Torres with pachuca

    Jones with Schalke

    Feilhaber with AGF

    Bocanegra with Rennes

    Simek with Sheffield W.

    And even Beasley with Rnagers if he somehow gets back into post-injury form.

  18. 505anthony says:

    Didn’t Rossi played for Parma in 07/08 season? Is it because he’s declared for Italy that he’s not included? Gooch would be the third then.

  19. NewcastleRBNY says:

    European leagues are starting to realize that they can get some good talent for cheap from America. Granted that Onyewu isn’t coming from America but its a sign that we have quality players who can prove themselves in Europe.

    Landon definately needs to be the next one to go. Both him and the US Nats would be much better served with him getting regular playing time with better competition week in and week out. His 15-20 goals a year come with the asterisk of going up against defenders like Andrew Boyens or guys who need to work a second job just to make ends meet.

    Good for Gooch. It came out of left field but good for him.

  20. Chad says:

    Donovan’s issue is not having an EU passport. The 2 american signings this summer both have an EU passport (Peterlin and Onyewu). This obviously shows how valuable that piece of paper is. I think MLS would sell Landy in a heartbeat. It’s the buyers that are the problem. With only a few spots dedicated to foreigners why would you use one on Donovan?

    Maybe Donovan needs a new passport?

  21. c says:

    he better not play like a donkey like he did when he was at Newcastle.

  22. brant says:

    505 – Rossi isn’t considered a US player b/c he plays for Italian nat’l team.

  23. MVK says:

    lol, i just found out his full name is : Oguchialu Chijioke Goma Lambu Onyewu

  24. Aaron says:

    The passport issue could probably be gotten around, but I think he’ll be a free agent at the end of this MLS season. If not, he’ll force his way out.

    Who knows but maybe if any of his grandparents were from the old continent he could finnagle a Euro passport.

  25. D Wreck says:

    Exactly, Gabriel Ferrari never played in Serie A with Sampdoria and is now with Perugia in Serie C (or that’s what the 3rd Division in Italy use to be called).

    I think Gooch will play quite a bit actually. I expect with the age issues and injury issues at AC Milan, we can expect him to play a lot.

  26. DCUfanTX says:

    WAIT A MINUTE. STOP THAT TRAIN. There is no guarantee that Gooch can break into the first team yet. Until that happens, calm down people.

  27. DCUfanTX says:

    we all remembered how HUGE the Yellow submarines signing Altidore was. and we all know how that turned out…

    So calm down people. it is just a signing. let’s see if he will play in an actual game.

  28. Neumannator says:

    How is he going to braak into the starting 11? I hope I’m wrong and I am very happy for him, but I don’t see this working out at all.

  29. Christian says:

    LOL @ the guy who said Gooch was a world class defender.

    Man, some of you are truly nuts.

  30. isaac says:

    Maybe Landon Donovan can get a transfer to Wolfsburg or Bordeaux. My pick is Wolfsburg because if they can pick up Donovan, and one more good midfielder(such as Pablo Aimar) they can make a round of 16 push in the Uefa Champions League this season.

    ———Dzeko Donovan———

    Misimovic Gentner Josue Dejagah

    (LB) Barzagli Madlung Zaccardo

    ————–GK—————.

  31. dudeabides says:

    ^^^^^PSH jozy’s stock has gone up with his performence in WCQ and confed cup

  32. Austin says:

    dcufan……tell me why you have second thoughts about him starting when zambrotta,favalli,jankulowski,oddo, and nesta were all out of favor and injured last year

    you cant tell me why because you dont have a clue how bad AC Milan needed a centre back…..Bonera,onyewu,silva,kaladze will be defensive starters next year

    also, IT IS REDICULOUS to compare jozy(19 years old and supposed to be developing) to onyewu(in his prime and on great form)

    You obviously dont know how player development works, altidore was brouhgt into develop and turn into a great player in the future, which is why you send them on loan to give them playing time……….nobody should have expected altidore to be a starter???? helloo??

    there is no comparison whatsoever

  33. BellusLudas says:

    Gooch is in a good spot to have a real chance at playing time. Milan needs to spend money on attacking players or their fans will go nuts. Gooch has come a LONG WAY from earning red cards every three matches….Kudos to him!

  34. Andrew Wiebe says:

    Ain’t that the truth Christian. Straight up nutty. Luckily for Gooch, world class can’t really be applied to the rest of that defense other than Nesta. God knows Senderos wasn’t and he played all the time.

    Here is hoping he can deal with the culture and added pressure that will come in Italy.

  35. Ben says:

    Maldini just retired, Kaladze is past it, Nesta is made of glass, Gooch will play.

    It’s much different from Freddy, Jozy, Guzan, etc. Gooch is a 27 year old established international veteran. He’s not being bought as a long-term project.

  36. jjraines says:

    Well Christian, AC Milan disagrees with you. I’d rather take their opinion of Onyewu over some random internet commenter. If he’s not “world class” he’s pretty damn close. He was a total brick wall the entire Confed Cup, and is in his prime. I bet you’d agree if you shed the American label and for the past two years he was playing for a bigger club. The real joke is the knee-jerk perception everyone has (including oddly, American fans themselves) that guys like Onyewu can’t possibly be world-class, simply for the fact that they are Americans.

  37. JB says:

    FREE LANDON!!

  38. jjraines says:

    Oh and btw, he’s gonna play. A ton. Maybe in a year after being the same brick wall for Milan that he’s been for the USMNT lately, he’ll finally be acknowledged as a class defender?

  39. vivavilla says:

    Austin is right. Villareal just made a mistake with the loan because they didn’t know about the problems between management and the coach. management wanted jozy coach didnt. same thing happened with adu. there are no conspiracy theories. at the end of the day, the coach decides who plays when players are signed and even when they arent (donovan at bayern for a bit…not a failed loan spell btw people…i have no idea why people say it was a failure…he showed he belonged.)

    Anyway, this move for gooch is huge. In terms of reputation, ac milan is one of the top ten clubs in the world. I’d say if any american gets on the following teams, it is huge for american soccer regardless if they play or not:

    man u, liverpool, arsenal, chelsea, ac milan, juventus, inter, a.s. roma, real madrid, barcelona

    that said, onyewu will play a lot. Even if you dont give him a starting role, he will play almost half the games if you look at the history of health for the other defenders–they will play close to 38 games. And I believe 18 games is the minimum you will see him. People need to stop using his newcastle experience as evidence why he won’t make it. He’s developed as you can clearly see on the world stage.

  40. Derek says:

    Happy, happy, happy, happy!

  41. FCB says:

    I’m willing to bet that 3 years from now he’s starting his new 2 year contract extension at Milan and they’ve won the Scudetto at least once. I only sense positive vibes from this.
    Milan HAS to be looking at him from the durability factor as well as the cost. The dude almost never gets injured.

  42. Christian says:

    Spare me the “America bias” bullsh*t JJraines.

    It’s not hard to see that Onyewu isn’t a world class defender.

    The guy is a damn good defender but far from world class status.

    He’s good in the air but is slow and clumsy against technical players and mark my words, he will get torched numerous times in Italy.

    I guess Senderos and Flamini are also world class because they play at AC Milan?

    Gooch went to AC Milan on a FREE TRANSFER, meaning they didn’t pay a dime for him.

    Geez, you’d think people would know what they were talking about making such statements.

  43. DC Josh says:

    If Gooch can move to Milan, then Donovan can move to Barcelona.

    Landon is by far the best field player the US has. He proved what his potential can be at the Confederations Cup, burning defenders, tracking back, scoring clutch goals, and captaining the national team in Los’s absence.

    I couldn’t be happier for Gooch. I have heard rumors that Senderos is moving back to the Gunners. If it’s true, he will find himself in the starting XI barring any injuries.

  44. Federico says:

    Landon Donovan qualifies for a Slovakian passport due to the fact his wife’s dad is from Slovakia. So if she gets one so can he so Landon can get a EURO passport!!!!! Whad up bitches

  45. vivavilla says:

    also to talk about altidore a little more. i’d really like american soccer fans to do a little more research and realize how the soccer world works. jozy is considered a great talent. worldwide. villareal thought so and brought him in. but that almost never means players will play right away if they are that young. even pato didnt play right away at milan. inzaghi got hurt mid season and pato got more time and started to shine. this season was his second season and he started…

    now lets look at altidore. 1st year with the team he plays a few games, scores a goal. villareal has 4 strikers…FOUR that are older and wiser and higher on the depth chart. even if a starter got injured, altidore wouldnt have the same luck as pato, a comparable player at the time if you look back at the u-20 world cup (not saying altidore is as good as pato, but respective to their country, yes). so they loaned him out to get him some pt on a COMPETITIVE TEAM. they just made the mistake of not asking the COACH as well as management. coach didnt want him and didnt play him.

    jozy has expressed a desire to leave not because he wont get playing time, but because he thinks he might get screwed over again. he has good reason to be cautious bc villareal blew it with the loan AND lost their genius coach. However, I dont see how he is not the first striker off the bench. Rossi and Llorente are the starters and altidore is third in line with Franco and Nihat gone. If one of them gets injured or transfered (rossi) he’s the starter. Also, they are playing europa competition meaning they will also have around 38 games. Jozy will get at least 18 games.

    now, the freddy situation is a bit problematic because he is further down on the depth chart at benfica and the coach has publicly expressed doubts about his performance. his situation is actually worthy of complaining about. let’s wait until 5 games into the la liga season to start complainign about jozy or talking about his move as a bust…

  46. DC Josh says:

    I was hypothetically speaking about Landon moving to Barca BTW. They obviously don’t need his services with the midfield depth they have.

    But I don’t like the perception that Americans can’t perform in top European leagues.

  47. japan says:

    He will definitely be seeing time on the field and AC Milan is the best big club he could have chosen.

    With that said, he is no where near world class.

  48. Nicole says:

    Landon is not free at the end of the season. MLS holds two more option years on him.

    As for his Old Continent connections, I do believe his grandfather migrated to Canada from Ireland. Would that help him?

  49. mike ruze says:

    It will bold well only if he does well.

    Man U didnt go out and buy a bunch of Americans after their tim Howard and Spector experiments

  50. Adam M. says:

    Pretend you could erase your recent soccer knowledge. What would you have set the odds at one year ago or so that David Beckham and Gooch would both be AC Milan players? Or that Gooch playing with Beckham would be because Gooch got better rather than because Beckham declined?

  51. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Wow the idiots are out today… First off, Gooch is very close to world class if he is not considered it already…. People keep talking about the Confed Cup and while it helped a bit…the real deal was the fact that he shut down Liverpool for 89 mins and his little ole Belgian team nearly took them out along with a few other EPL teams in UEFA….

    Onyewu will be startet @ AC Milan for over half the season if not more judging by the way Nest and Kaladze get injured…. AC Milan did not buy Gooch to sell shirts…they bought him to head away free kicks and keep clean sheets… also….spare me about the “he is slow and gets beat by quicker players crap”….that stuff is old news retards…

    As for Donovan…sure it would help a ton if he had an EU passport but MLS will end up selling him…likely for about 8-10 million US…. Guys in the EPL are going for like 4-5 millon sterling right now and they could not hold Landon’s jock… I just hope he ends up in Spain or Germany where there is more open space…. Maybe England in the right set up… (i.e. a good countering side like Arsenal, Villa or Fulham)

  52. ChingAdore - Isaac says:

    Actually, Milan signing Donovan wouldn’t be total nonsense. Cheap forward, scores plenty of goals for club and country, just off advancing to a major FIFA Final….and scoring. I don’t see why not.

  53. Christian says:

    Andy

    The only idiot is you.

    Milan didn’t buy Onyewu. They got him a on free transfer.

    Besides the fact that he’s not good with the ball at his feet, what has Onyewu done to be considered world class?

    Please, take off your USMNT fanboy glasses and answer the question.

  54. japan says:

    Andy in Atlanta, do you think Alex from Chelsea and Brazil is world class?

  55. Doug says:

    Great for Gooch. I still love the image of him staring down Borgetti in a WC qualifier.

  56. luis says:

    christian,

    i believe andy already explained why he is close or if not already a world class defender..

    “People keep talking about the Confed Cup and while it helped a bit…the real deal was the fact that he shut down Liverpool for 89 mins and his little ole Belgian team nearly took them out along with a few other EPL teams in UEFA….”

    plus, if i remember correctly, Gooch said he was going to wait till after the Confederations Cup to make a decision about his future..many people criticized him by saying “his only going to hurt his transfer because his going against top national teams” and what does Gooch do? He comes out and IMO, played the best games of his career. That goes to tell you that he has the right mentality to play against Top teams in the world..thus making him a world class defender

  57. Marco says:

    As an Interista I am a bit dissapointed but as a USMNT fan I couldn’t be happier for Gooch. I hope he gets some run at the San Siro and is conviniently suspended for yellow card accumilation for il derby de la Madonina!

  58. Matt Mathai says:

    Actually, Christian, you need to keep up to date. The biggest two improvements Onyewu has made is in not fouling (as much) when he bodies up an attacker, and in distributing with passes out of the back. Next to Spector, he’s our best passer (of the defenders)

    As to whether or not he’s world class? I don’t think he is yet, but he has all the tools to be. He has size, he has learned positioning, he has learned to distribute. He hasn’t played enough against small, quick forwards, but when he gets that experience, he’ll be a much more complete defender. And yes, maybe world class.

  59. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Christian…while there was not tansfer fee…and I am aware of this fact…sorry for the wording error…they are in fact paying him a healthy weekly salary you can bet since that is the only thing all the clubs were competeing on…(PERSONAL TERMS)

    I am not some USMNT fan boy and I have been quite critical of the Gooch in the past but he has improved every year and this year he showed that he is top 50 CB in the world right now and certainly worhty of being a 3rd CB for AC Milan…

    Japan…I think Gooch is better than Alex…but Alex is close to be world class too… Not sure what you people consider world class…to me it is they can be on a world squad of the best players and not look out of place…Gooch showed Spain and Italy he was not out of place…

  60. Nick says:

    I will be very surprised if Onyewu becomes a regular starter for Milan.

  61. japan says:

    luis, christian has also failed to mention the games vs costa rica and el savdor. I’m not saying we lost because of him. I’m just saying that we have to look at the whole season. I would also like to ask you if you think Alex from Chelsea and Brazil is world class.

  62. simms21 says:

    Damn whats wrong with fans these days, people can’t enjoy a happy moment for 1 minute with out criticizing and insulting the player….I’m happy Gooch is gonna get his moment cause he deserves it. Now I’m waiting to see what happens to Demerit, is he still at Watford?

  63. KingSnake says:

    Rennes, St. Etienne, Sochaux and AC Milan.

    One of these things is not like the others …

  64. ThaDeuce says:

    Donovan will make it this year to a European Giant. I said it. I can see other players going to European teams, but I can’t see any others going to a Champions League team besides him. We’ll see!
    Exciting news though. I can’t wait to see him on the field starting and playing in a Milan Jersey!

  65. Marshall says:

    mike ruze has the right of it. This opens doors when Onyewu plays well week in and week out, especially if it’s in visible competitions (e.g., Champions League). It’s a good start, though, and I wish him all the success in the world. I believe he’s capable of excelling in that environment. Sorry he didn’t get to play with & learn from Maldini, but one door begets another…

  66. EA says:

    “I would also like to ask you if you think Alex from Chelsea and Brazil is world class.”

    This is SO subjective, that it’s not worth discussing.

    If, by, “world class”, you mean in the world’s best 11, then no. Neither Gooch or Alex are world class. If you mean able to play regularly for most, if not all, teams in the world, and not look out of place… then, yes. I believe both are world class.

  67. Mark Blafkin says:

    I think all this “world class” defender debate is a waste of time. He’s a very good player and has earned to right to play on one of the world’s top stages. Either he will prove that he deserves to stay or he will not. My bet is that the experience ensures that he continues growing as a player and he ultimately proves that he belongs.

    The REAL debate is whether anyone can stomach buying a Gooch AC MIlan jersey knowing that all the profit will be going to that scumbag Berlusconi.

  68. papi grande says:

    just some random thoughts on onyewu’s move to ac milan…

    first, i am very happen that his improvement as a player, shown both over the course of time with standard liege, and most recently at the confeds cup, have resulted in the move to milan. that said, those who categorize gooch as a world class defender are getting WAY ahead of themselves. i would be pleasantly surprised if gooch becomes a regular starter at milan. not because gooch is not a good defender, but because milan is a HUGE SUPER club that has the best players competing for spots on their roster, let alone a spot in the starting 11. remember this, gooch will not only be competing for a spot with defenders currently on the milan roster, but any defender in the world that milan rates highly…..and that is because they are one of the 10-14 teams in the world that can buy any player, regardless of price. if during the 2009/2010 serie A season, gooch comes away as a part-time starter (read: half the games) and gains a much stronger sense of defensive tactics (for which the serie A is known for) then the move will have been successful. if gooch struggles early, which is a strong possibility, milan will buy during the january 20010 transfer window, and gooch will sit the second half of the 2009/2010 season, and be rusty going into the world cup. that, i am sure we would all agree on, would make the move unsuccessful.

    i wish gooch the best, i am sure we will all be watching closely.

  69. Christian says:

    I’m sorry but two good games against Liverpool and two (out of five) good games at the Confederations Cup does not make a world class player.

    It’s important to remember that when determining if a player is world class, you look at his whole career.

    You don’t pick and choose his good games and use those as the base of your argument.

    Now, once again, what has Gooch done (over the span of his professional carreer) to be considered a world class defender?

    ……….

    Exactly my point.

  70. slymer says:

    Uhhh….just because he was a free transfer, doesn’t mean they aren’t paying him. They signed him to a contract. He’s gonna make a nice salary all paid by Milan.

    Jesus! Some of you are acting like he’s playing for free. Yes, he’s world class.

  71. slymer says:

    I would say yes, Alex is world class. If you start for one of the biggest clubs in the world than you most likely are world class.

  72. slymer says:

    It’s pretty lame to argue “World Class” anyways, since there’s no definitive qualifications that determine if a player is “World Class” or not.

  73. Christian says:

    Papi Grande nailed it.

    This is a useless discussion because the only people who consider Gooch a “world class” defenders are American fans.

    That said, I think he’s a phenomenal player that has earned the right to prove himself at a team like Milan.

    Good luck to him and the USMNT.

  74. Andrew Wiebe says:

    This isn’t about hating on Gooch. I have tons of love for his game and the rest of the USMNT. It’s about having realistic expectations for a player who is going to have to prove himself all over again in a new culture, new club and vastly better league than Belgium.

    He isn’t a world-class center back. Period. Is he an above average player on the international and club level with plenty to contribute to AC Milan? Yes, no doubt. But don’t put him in the same conversation as an Alex, who is a free kick specialist from the CB spot, better distributor, just as imposing physically and has proven himself a valuable commodity in the EPL for Chelsea (twice the force an aging Milan squad is in a more competitive league).

    Whoever tossed out the top 50 number to define world class…seriously? Top 50 equals world class? That is a ridiculous leap from someone desperate to prove a point. Pointing out his performance against Liverpool and in the Confederations Cup as proof? Pretty silly if you ask me. It’s called sample size, and he doesn’t have enough of it against top competition on a consistent basis.

    Do I think Onyewu will hold is own? Definitely. He wouldn’t have signed had he thought he didn’t have a chance to play in a World Cup year. And to be honest, I like the move. It breaks down barriers and challenges Gooch at a time when he needs a new mountain to climb. He chose wisely based on his style of play and strengths.

  75. vivavilla says:

    i dont usually post here but have posted twice already today and feel the need to do it again. christian you are right the world class debate is stupid, but you also started it. thanks for trying to finish it. what you dont seem to get is that the label world class is idiotic. if any definition should be used to describe world class, it should be the ability to consistently and effectively start and contribute for your national team on international duty. gooch? check…

    now if we look at another definition- ability to start and play effectively for a team that competes against other top teams in europe, then gooch…check again. played liverpool tough, led his team to champions league again, always a starter.

    if you consider world class to be one of the best 11 players in the world, then no he is not along with most of brazil, italy, the netherlands, and other country’s rosters. such a definition is pointless and doesnt really do anything to evaluate a player.

    instead of grouping a player into a vague and arbitrary grouping, why don’t you compare his abilities with another similar position player and talk about why he is inferior or superior. this discussion is also stupid, but at least has some basis in logic and fact.

    class, world class, international quality, whatever…gooch is it. he has proven he can hang with international stars on international and club level duties. he’s almost always starting and contributing. what else can we expect? if a team like ac milan loses its most respected defender probably ever…and its sole signing so far has been an international center back, why should we not assume he’ll play?

  76. JIM P says:

    I really do not understand why a major offer has not come for Donovan. This guy was the best player or at least the most valuable player to his team at the Conf. Cup. He has a field intelligence that passes C. Reyna (and doesn’t turn the ball over lay down on the field faking hurt while the winning goal is being scored at WC) Every situation for Donovan has been wrong. At Bayern Munich they put him on the same side as Ribery who likes to come back, get the ball, and attack with speed the same thing Donovan does. Donovan needs to find a team that will use him like the US Men’s Nat. Team. Let him come back and defend and lead the break-out, why every team does not need this kind of player is a mystery. Donovan does not have a special skill becaues he is an all-around player. He does everything well and can read the game and do what is needed whether defense, ball winning, pushing the play, slowing the play etc . .He needs to go to a big club that will use him as the key feature of the transition. Its no mystery that the bigger the game the bigger he plays, he belongs in the spotlight.

  77. ChingAdore - Isaac says:

    JIM P,

    Don’t you dare try to insult an American captain as good as Claudio Reyna again. He had to leave the game with an MCL so he definitely wasn’t faking. The main reason Donovan hasn’t been offered Europe is because he was too timid in all three stints. Also, the games were in South Africa, very different from Europe.

  78. Pappajohn says:

    I agree that Donovan is a better midfirlder than Reyna, but skills are only part of the equation. There has to be a certain “chemistry” between the player and the Europesan coach, and the player must make an effort to fit into the culture of the European team. Poor Jozy and Freddy were hired by team management, and never accepted by the coach. We see the sad result.

    I have no special insight, but I feel that Landon might have a problem “fitting in”, both with European coaches and culture. He never liked playing in Germany when he younger. Let’s face it, he is somewhat of a quirky person. Perhaps its as simple as the fact that no one in Europe likes him, even though he has skills.

  79. dolan says:

    @Christian

    You clearly dislike American fans and the USMNT. Don’t even post a response to this fact. AC Milan have shown interest in an American player and this obviously bothers you for some reason. Go crawl back under the rock you came from. More Americans are getting noticed because they deserve it. Please get over it.

  80. Danny says:

    Rossi is NOT an American. He is an Italian. He made that known when he turned his back on the U.S.

    He is NOT an American. End of story.

  81. Jags98 says:

    Donovan’s price is too high, knocking out all mid to small clubs or the mid to small clubs wont spend because he doesnt lift a whole team or able to carry them.

    He is good, but far from a man on the field. Start thinking about what he cant give you and you will find your answers to major clubs not wanting him.

    Besides, dont you think word got out after his first two tries in Germany to the rest of the EU. Something is being said and its not good. He walked away, blame him being a kid all you want. Kids do that move all the time and make it or least stick around.

  82. cfig says:

    @Nicole: If Donovan’s grandfather is/was an Irish national then LD should be eligible for Irish citizenship.

  83. John says:

    Inter wants him, that means Gooch is a great defender. Period.

    Hopefully LD will move to Europe, but he’s expensive and has baggage. Great player but problematic. Period.

  84. John says:

    Ooooooops, meant AC. My credibility is damaged. Period.

  85. Christian says:

    Dolan.

    Keep drinking the kool-aid my friend.

    That way when your boys don’t meet your expectations, you’ll be the one crying under a rock.

    I got nothing against the US or their players.

    I just wanted to know what Gooch had done to be called a world class defender.

    And guess what Dolan? Nobody has answered the question.

    Does it hurt your feelings that the only people who think Gooch is world class are you and your delusional buddies?

    Sh*t man, I just said he was a phenomenal player but not world class by any means. Seems like you have a hard time being objective when it comes to analyzing your players.

    Sucks for you.

  86. Langan says:

    Gooch is Slow? Hmmm funny what this link shows…(Yes, i do know it only shows TOP speed but still…)

    Make sure you click on the TS area 2x so it shows fastest to slowest and you might be suprised…

    link to fifa.com

  87. Keith G. says:

    On the topic of Donovan, there is no way he is going back to Germany, he is 0-3 there, and has already said that he wants to go to Spain or England. With all the moves going on, I would actually like to see Donovan going to Lyon. They have lost there top striker and I think France is where Donovan would make it. He would get euro play and a good chance to win a euro league. Other wise he will be going to a mid-table club in England or Spain.

    As for Jozy I am hoping that he will be given a shot with Villarreal this year, and see him make a break through. Unless a bigger team gives and offer I think Davies should go to Rennes and with Bocanegra there it would make his move easier and maybe help him have a better season.

    I just hope to see our players going to bigger and better clubs, and start seeing Americans on Champions League winning teams.

  88. aristotle says:

    Great! Another American has achieved bench warming status on a great club.

  89. Hush says:

    Funny how some people here want to dawg our Gooch!lol

    Here is the deal for those who are not familiar with Milan’s strategy! Milan has a similar tactic that the USNMT has. They are built on “DEFENDING”!!!! This is where CB Gooch comes in for them. This will be the perfect place and skeem for Mr.Gooch and his talents. He knows the ropes and style that Milan brings defensively because it is similar to what he plays in the USNMT.

    He was a champion in Standard,champion in concacaf,sub champions in confederations. And to top it off, he has been involved in important games in the qualifying stages and in the W.C… He has the experience to play in a big clubs, no doubt… Is not like every S.A player in Europe comes in with great experience from conembol leagues!;) I will be buying a gooch jersey without carrying who gets the profits!lol

    VIVA USA CABRONES!!!!

  90. John- You are actually correct in thinking Inter wanted Gooch because they did. Luciano D’Onofrio, who serves as the vice-president of Standard Liege stated that Inter were a club that was interested in Gooch along with Birmingham, and Monchengladbach. If Inter considered Gooch then that means The Special One rates him. That says a lot to me about how good Gooch is.

  91. jim says:

    people compared Alex and Gooch and said Gooch was better? i’m a Chelsea and USMNT supporter, so i’m on both sides of this discussion. i really don’t rate Alex that highly due to him being inconsistent and not being as dominate in the air as he should be for his size. plus i want to see Ivanovic getting more of the minutes that Alex was getting last season. but to say that Gooch is better than Alex is just wrong in my opinion. i guarantee all things being equal, Milan would take Alex over Gooch in a heartbeat, as would just about any other club.

    but it’s all opinions i guess, so no one is truly right.

  92. kevbask says:

    great for Gooch and USMNT to be signed by such a top side. Time will tell how much impact he’ll have, but I’m looking forward to seeing him contribute on a big stage.

  93. bob says:

    Christian is an insecure little man.

  94. froboy says:

    the world class debate is dumb, if he starts and plays well for Milan than he is world class, if not he isn’t period. no point in speculating now, obviously Milan thinks he has potential to be world class, only time will tell

  95. GO USA says:

    Christian is an insecure little man.

    Posted by: bob | July 07, 2009 at 08:24 PM

    +1

  96. dolan says:

    Christian,

    AC MILAN thinks he’s good enough to sign for three years. I’ll take their judgment over your pathetic analysis anyday. That’s my point ahole. One of the biggest and best clubs in the world want Gooch. Nuff said.

  97. MensreaJim says:

    No, he’s a troll who writes in (apparently American) English very well for someone who does not identify as an American. Castillo’s move probably looks pretty good right now for some of our American El Tri supporters. Unfortunately, fandom attaches with your first cap.

  98. CapeCodFutbol says:

    Some of the comments on Mexican message boards are very interesting — Gooch’s move to Milan has generated quite a response.

    The responses break down roughly equally among:
    - Ok he’s strong and tall but he lacks technique.
    - Onyewu’s strong but he’s a class below Marquez — it’s a shame Rafa doesn’t show his quality for the national side
    - Onyewu sucks
    - If Onyewu were Mexican we would be saying he was the best in the world.
    - This is just more evidence that the US is the power in concacaf; what will happen in Azteca?

  99. CapeCodFutbol says:

    Other random comments:

    There’s a lot of bitching about the Mexican national team in general, and a bit less bitching about how their players that have gone abroad *lately* have sucked it up. And then there was the racism.

  100. Scott A says:

    I don’t even know how to define world class. But clearly Onyewu is a very good player who has the chance to shine at AC Milan and be even better. And I will also choose to believe the judgment of a Champions League team instead of an anonymous person who only comments negatively on USA stories

  101. slymer says:

    Does Christian really think Onyewu is playing for free?

  102. japan says:

    i think what Christain meant to say was that if Onyewu had few years left in his contract and was worth around 15 million euros, would AC Milan or other big clubs bought him. I think he’s answer would be no and I would agree.

  103. japan says:

    and I agree with many of you. This world class debate is rather pointless as we all have different definitions. Better question is if he is top 15 center back in the world. My opinion is no.

    This is definitley a good move for him though and he will see good playing time.

  104. slymer says:

    @Japan

    He’s “worth” whatever the highest bidder would’ve paid for him. So if someone were to spend 15 million euros (you suggested that price) for him than I’d assume it’d be one of the top tier clubs.

  105. MKF 25 says:

    According to this morning’s Gazzetta, Milan are paying him (a free transfer) 700,000 Euro a year, pointing out that he’s making less than a third of the 2.5 million his predecessor (Senderos) made. If that’s true, it would have made him the lowest paid player on Milan’s senior team last season. (Not sure though if they’ve done any restructuring, as has been rumored, for the upcoming year.)

    Nesta (4 million) and Kaladze (3.7 million) have deals that take them through 2011. Thiago Silva’s deal goes until 2012 and is rumored to be at 2.5 million per, after they paid Fluminese 10 million Euro for him. Bonera, who everyone seems to be putting Gooch ahead of already, made 1.8 million last season and last month signed a 3 year extension.

    This isn’t my opinion, or hating or bashing him or anything else. These are the (rumored) numbers. Its nice that he’ll get an opportunity and hopefully he can seize it, but to assume that they’re handing him the keys to the backline is ridiculous. They have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING invested in him and if he struggles early, may disappear. Its a very, very dicey situation.

  106. riggity says:

    I have wasted a good portion of an hour reading this whole damn debate and here is my take. Gooch is a great player and one of my favortie for the USMNT. But I have been having trouble holding back my vomit every time I read Christian’s posts. While many of your points, Christian, are EXTREMELY valid, your childish remarks to insult those who you have engaged in debate make you sound more foolish than your probably are…sucks for you (see?)

  107. Leonardo says:

    time to buy GOOCH AC Milan jerseys!! wowowowow

  108. Hush says:

    I never thought the U.S would be the cheap labor!lol With that said, I’m so hyped to get my Gooch MILAN jersey!

    Let us not bother with the mexicans any longer! We are done with them and we are moving on to better things!;)…. A rivalry is someone who beats you equally!…. mexico hasn’t beaten us at any stage or tournament in almost 8 years!lol So I don’t consider them a rivalry any longer!lol TRUE!!!

    We are preparing ourselfs to be better for the future and some day win the W.C. That’s our work as a soccer nation. I see it happening in 2018-2022! I said it here folks!

  109. HokieFutbol says:

    I thought that Donovan was free to leave in the winter transfer window. Am I wrong on that? I agree with an old post saying Donovan will force his way out if he isn’t free to go. The problem is that the transfer fee is so high and a lot of teams won’t pay it.

  110. Christian says:

    LOL some of you are as delusional and fickle as Michael Jackson fans.

    I said it before but it bears repeating, I don’t hate the US or their players. It’s people like Dolan, that makes other people not want to support the USMNT.

    It was a simple question, what has Gooch done on the field to be considered a world class player?

    None of you numbnuts have been able to answer the question and you know why? Because he is not a world class player.

    That’s it.

    He’s obviously a quality player and Milan think highly of him but he still has to prove himself.

    Next time, I’ll bring a box of kleenex for all you whiners out there that are so desperate for world recognition that you get upset when someones disagrees with you regarding your team and players.

    By the way, I support Mexico because it’s my country, I live in the US, have two degrees and well paying job.

    None of that changes the fact that I will always root for Mexico.

    Screw all of you generic, attention craving cretins.

    Viva Mexico cabrones!!!

  111. papi grande says:

    hush and some others….you just don’t get it, do you…..if only it were that easy. no one is “dawging” out gooch. just because he has accomplished what you reference and just because he is a defender and “that is what ac milan is built on” does not guarantee a spot as a starter (or a spot on the bench), let alone success. there have been many other players, lots of them better and more accomplished than gooch, and they have left labeled a “bust. i am pulling for gooch BIG TIME as his success at ac milan can only mean good things for ac milan, the USMNT, american soccer players, and ultimately, gooch himself. all that said, he has a VERY BIG challenge ahead of him and for you or anyone else to say that he is going to be a success based on the things you have mentioned, is to be getting way ahead of yourself.

  112. EnginBlue says:

    I like this move a lot even if Gooch gets played only sparingly – the practice sessions will be great for him. He has improved his ‘on the ball’ skills quite a bit in the last couple years but this will force him to really step up his game not only on defense but also in stabilizing things coming out of the back.

    At the elite level everyone needs to have great control and passing ability. You just can’t give the ball up cheaply by getting rattled at the first sign of pressure. We all see what a difference there is when we go deeper in the bench. An improvement in this area (team wide) will give us much more consistency against the top tier.

  113. slymer says:

    Of course he’s not guaranteed a spot on the roster, but I think he will be on the roster and I think he’ll start and I believe he’ll be successful, because he’s an excellent world class player. He’s proven it at the Confederations Cup, at Standard Liege and by suiting up for the US National team 47 times. Yes, I realize there is no “guarantee”, but I believe he’ll do fine.

  114. dolan says:

    Playing like he did in Belgium and the Confed Cup make him a “world class” player. Shitty Marquez plays in Barcelona and he is no better than Gooch. You want to talk about whiners Christian. Look no further than your fellow Mexican fans. Mexico is horsepoo and you know it. That’s why you pansies get all worked up when Americans do well. Please take your two well paying jobs and go back to Mexico. You are the type of fan who boos the American team and curses the anthem in the United States. I have no respect for your type. Please go away. I’m through responding to an ignoramus.

  115. JIM P says:

    CHINGADORE

    Clear and simple, no matter how good Claudio Reyna was his turnover play cost us a chance at the second round. He should not have tried to beat a player or play with the ball at all when he is last man back (my U-9 team knows that). Did he hurt himself making that ill advised move, or when he was phantomly kicked? The United States will not only become the best team in soccer within a few cups but they will save soccer by playing like men who do not fall on the ground and hurt their team trying to play on the sympathy of the ref. You don’t see it in american football or basketball because that is how men play (and even women athletes for that matter). Claudio like many American players was mentally ruined by his time in Germany where he learned to dive and fall (i.e. Dempsey) I will always criticize any american player who takes a dive or who lies down hurt to the detriment of his team and that is my lasting impression of Reyna. He should have apologized to the team like Beasley did when he turned the ball over on the corner kick. He should know not to sacrifice the team in exchange for the ref’s sympathy.

  116. Christian says:

    Dolan:

    You are incredibly naive and foolish if you truly think that I boo the national anthem. Every morning during homeroom I saluted the flag of a country that isn’t mine. I know all the words to the star spangled banner and have the an unbelievable amount of respect for the country that has allowed me to become the person I am today.

    That doesn’t mean I’m going to support the USMNT.

    I pay taxes, I’m a volunteer coach with the local leagues and when I can, I volunteer at the local hospital.

    As far as the Marquez/Gooch comparison….well there is no comparison.

    Marquez was voted the best defender in France when he played for Monaco and has been one of Barca’s best players for a few years now.

    You couldn’t be more stupid when it comes to the game of soccer if you tried.

    Keep whining.

  117. madmax says:

    All the EPL freaks are on the loose dissing Onyewu. The fact that Milan, Inter, and Real showed interest can’t penetrate their thick skulls. Go Gooch.

  118. Riff says:

    As a former resident of Milano and a longtime Serie A fan (not a Milan supporter by any means – FORZA INTER!) I think Gooch has a shot at getting some playing time. It all depends on how much faith Leonardo has in the big guy and also what the injury/bookings situation is with the other Rossonero CB candidates.

    There is *immense* pressure on Milan to improve their performance in Serie A after being second fiddle to Inter (hehe) for at least three years running. And some of that pressure will probably fall on Onyewu’s shoulders – because he will be tested by a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic (which is probably one of the main reasons Onyewu is now at Milan – a big defender to try to throttle the equally large Swede) amongst other brilliant attackers. The level of quality of opposing forwards in Serie A is quite a bit higher than in Belgium (no insult intended to that fine league, but hey – this is Serie A, no playing around!)

    The fact that Onyewu performed commendably against the likes of Villa, Torres, Toni, Fabiano and others during the Conferations Cup is a good sign. Now he’ll have to do it week-in and week-out. No days off – even the small ‘provinciale’ sides in Serie A have at least one dangerous striker. The will be zero ‘days off’ for Gooch in scudetto play.

    So good luck (he’ll need it) to Onyewu – for 36 of his 38 Serie A matches anyway! :)

    Riff

  119. Ben says:

    Onyewu in A.C. Milan? Its like when I goof around with the transfer mode in FIFA 09.

    Here’s what I ususally do

    Landon Donovan – Manchester United
    DaMarcus Beasley – Liverpool
    Jozy Altidore – FC Barcelona
    Carlos Bocanegra – A.C. Milan
    Oguchi Onyewu – Real Madrid
    Freddy Adu – F.C. Porto
    Tim Howard – Bayern Munich
    Steve Cherundolo – Chelsea FC
    Charlie Davies – Inter Milan
    Clint Dempsey – Arsenal
    Ricardo Clark – Everton
    Brad Guzan – Bros. Dortmund
    Michael Bradley – Juventus
    Maurice Edu – Paris SG

    (FIFA 06)
    Brian McBride – Arsenal
    Claudio Reyna – Barcelona
    Eddie Pope – Liverpool
    John O’Brien – Manchester United

    Keep in mind though, i went into edit player mode and boosted their talent.