Onyewu signs with Championship side Queens Park Rangers

OguchiOnyewuSignsQPR1 (QueensParkRangers)

By DAN KARELL

After spending nearly the last two months without a club, American defender Oguchi Onyewu finally has a new home.

On Wednesday morning, English Championship club Queens Park Rangers announced that they had signed Onyewu to an undisclosed contract, after he had been on trial with the club recently. It’s the second time in his career that the 31-year-old centerback will ply his trade in England, following a brief spell on-loan with Newcastle in 2007.

“I’m thrilled to get this period over with and finally secure my future,” Onyewu said in a statement on the club’s website. “QPR are a club with huge ambitions to return to the Premier League and I wanted to be part of it. I had a really good feeling about QPR from the moment I arrived here. I’ve already integrated well into the group, so I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a very successful and happy time here.”

Onyewu was most recently contracted to Sporting Lisbon in Portugal but spent last season on loan at Malaga CF in Spain, making just nine appearances in all competitions. Since he moved to AC Milan in 2009 from Standard Liege in Belgium, the veteran defender has suffered numerous injuries including a ruptured patella tendon that nearly kept him off the U.S. Men’s National Team squad at the 2010 World Cup.

On the international scene, Onyewu has made 68 appearances for the USMNT since his debut in 2004. His last appearance came at the Gold Cup this summer in the 4-1 victory against Cuba. Onyweu represented the United States all the way from the youth levels (U-17s and U-20s) to senior levels, where he started at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups as well as the 2009 Confederations Cup.

QPR, located in West London, are currently in second place of the 24-team Championship division in English soccer, only two points behind first-place Burnley. The team is coached by Harry Redknapp, who joined the club last year when they were still in the Premier League but was unable to save them from relegation.

“This was an opportunity that was presented to me, that I was interested in, and I’m really pleased to be here,” Onyewu said. “I want to help the club get back to the Premier League. That’s why I’ve come here.

——

What do you think of this news? Glad to see Onyewu back in England? Do you feel that the Championship is a good fit for him? Do you see him succeeding at QPR? Do you see this helping his chances of making the World Cup squad?

Share your thoughts below.

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97 Responses to Onyewu signs with Championship side Queens Park Rangers

  1. Brian says:

    While I still don’t see him getting on the plane to Brazil, it is difficult not to be happy for him personally. Additionally, it can only help our depth (assuming he gets field time) should we suffer a rash of injuries. I know he didn’t look great in the Gold Cup, but if he is able to get some regular playing time he could join the FRINGE of the conversation.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Lots of players have nice footballing careers and never sniff the World Cup. Gooch was lucky enough to have had that experience. Because that window is closing/now closed doesn’t mean his career can not or should not go on.

  2. Joe from El Paso says:

    Hope he gets to play some…Probably initially yes, but will fade away after a couple of weeks.

  3. ere walson says:

    Whether he makes it to Brazil or not am just happy for him that he has finally securing
    A contract… I wish him all the very best…. One-love Onyewu

  4. Steven C says:

    If there defense is anywhere near as bad as it was last season, Gooch shouldn’t have any problems eventually getting onto the field. I feel good for him.

  5. Annelid Gustator says:

    Love Gooch. Hope it goes well for him, QPR.

  6. Helium-3 says:

    He will do well in the Championship as it is very industrious and brute force style of play. Just up his alley. Probably will make the match day squad this weekend.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I agree. People romanticize English soccer but the lower you get down the pyramid the more they play hoofball. Gooch’s strength was always getting in physically for lofted balls. But if he has to defend mano a mano, ball on the ground you saw what Byers from Antigua (!) did to him.

    • GW says:

      It is not so much brute force as it is there is no time on the ball.

      It’s more like pinball in the Championship.

  7. Kevin says:

    Happy to see one of our remaining past-generation CB’s playing in Europe since Bocanegra, Demerit, and Goodson all returned back to MLS

  8. Ed says:

    Injuries robbed us of a great player. If he hadn’t gotten hurt I’m pretty sure he’d be pushing a hundred caps if not more and I’d have to think he’d of been a sure fire starter in this cycle. When he was on his game he was a rock.

    • Toe Ball says:

      +1

    • Helium-3 says:

      I doubt you have been watching Gooch for a long time. He is a serviceable player and decent enough for the USMNT, but saying was a great player before his injury is stretching it. Need facts? WC 2006, Newcastle loan period…

      • TheFrenchOne says:

        agree. Gooch was a throwback to our 90s USMNT, strong physical defenders with limited technical skills. he hung in there for a while, but i think that even without these injuries, his time would have passed and he would not have been a regular starter for Klinsmann.

      • MidWest Ref says:

        Gooch was thrown into a Newcastle side and paired with Titus Bramble. Titus Bramble! Alessandro Nesta would have looked poor paired with Bramble.

        Your comment is like saying Mike Bradley is a bad midfielder for the US because he didn’t do well on loan with Aston Villa.

        Gooch was really coming into his prime as a defender with size and pace until he blew out his knee. Ed’s comments are accurate.

        • Helium-3 says:

          Did you watch the AC Milan friendlies with him when they were in the US? What about recently when he was with Malaga? You probably just see him when he played for USMNT.

          If you watch him play for those teams, he has the same weaknesses from back in the day to now, pre-injury or not.

          • Paul says:

            AC Milan & Malaga were post knee injury. Was he ever the technically adept? No. However, was he good at his peak (pre-injury) paired with a technical CB? Yes.

            • Kingsly Alexander - Man Rey - Plotinus - Sankt Pauli! says:

              I agree with Paul. The last few times we’ve seen Gooch with the USMNT team, he still wasn’t ever too intelligent with playing out of the back and keeping the ball which I think has been all too important.

              This is still great news. We really don’t have anyone to fill the same role Omar does if he were to go out for whatever reason and this is someone who could play himself back into the picture, most definitely

            • bryan says:

              i agree.

          • MidWest Ref says:

            Yes I watched Gooch play, both before and after his injury.

            Did you ever watch him play on his Belgian squad Standard Leige where he was a regular center back, when Standard won back to back titles and regularly competed in Europe?

            Yes, I saw him struggle to get acclimated to AC Milan, where Nesta was still a regular starter. I was upset when AC Milan bitched about him getting hurt on international duty even though he was rooted to the bench.

            That does not mean that if he hadn’t been hurt, he wouldn’t have been a stalwhart for the USMNT. He was never the fastest, but the knee injury caused him to lose another step and he couldn’t recover from that. Get off your high horse and stop telling others that they don’t watch the game.

            • Dimidri says:

              This. People also forget he played quite well for a Sporting Lisbon team that was pretty good (beat Man City, were in CL places before he got injured). He was their second leading scorer behind Ricky van Wolfswinkel before the injury, and was Man of the Match in the US game against Ecuador in Miami? in October of 2011 I believe.

              Even after the AC Milan injury, I think if he didn’t get that second injury at SCP he would be in the 23.

              People keep acting so high on their horse about him, like, oh, we’re too good for such a brute, 2009 Gooch that helped us beat Spain, if not a starter on this team (Which i think he is) then is certainly the first CB off the bench.

              • joshw says:

                When he was playing healthy and without reservations about repaired appendages, he was at a very high level. Ask Jared Borgetti. And against Spain, he showed great quickness for his size. Smooth on the ball too when he was playing regularly.

              • danny says:

                The way the US values possession now under Klinsman, there is no way he would see playing time for NATs now, even in his best form, pre-injury.

              • bryan says:

                danny – if that was true Omar wouldn’t be one of our #1 CBs.

              • GW says:

                “danny,,
                The way the US values possession now under Klinsman, there is no way he would see playing time for NATs now, even in his best form, pre-injury.”

                danny,

                If that were true why did JK call him up for the Gold Cup and why did he play him?

                And why did JK say afterwards that Gooch will find a job because everyone in Europe is looking for center halves? Gooch’s chances of going to Brazil are slim but they at least exist. It doesn’t cost JK a thing keep encouraging Gooch. Stranger things have happened.

                As for the possession thing Carles Puyol is hardly a dribbling wizard but he managed to do well on a team that I’m told “values possession”.

                Internationally Gooch was at his best from the Confederations Cup until he got hurt. He was never Chiellini, Baresi or Nesta but that edition of Gooch was certainly superior to anyone currently playing center half for the US. That is reason enough for JK to keep an open mind about Gooch.

            • bryan says:

              agreed.

      • bryan says:

        how about 2009 before his injury where Lippi specifically praised him. then goes to sign for AC Milan. give me a break dude. Gooch would have absolutely been one of our best CBs. even his form in Portugal before going to Spain was great. Gooch was solid.

  9. Yevgeniy says:

    Is anyone willing to make a guess as to what his annual pay is there? Just trying to think as to whether someone in MLS could/should have made a bid for his cervices. My guess is that based on hir resume he gets paid a lot more than Goodson although Goodson is better at this time

    • WolvesWanderer says:

      My guess is less than or around L20,000/week based on Kevin Doyle making L20,000 in League One (his wages are based on their time in the Championship)…

    • Vic says:

      Not worth signing him in MLS. He is not the player he once was. That money could be better spent on younger players.

  10. Mike in Missouri says:

    Good move for Gooch. After he has some time to acclimate, could be good for QPR.

  11. Eugene says:

    Why not just come to MLS? It would have been nice to see him here for a couple years before the end of his career. Unfortunately the injuries have limited him a lot and taken down his ability, so he probably doesn’t have that much more time left in his playing career.

    • Nick4235 says:

      I’d guess he’s getting more money in the championship than here in MLS. Plus there’s one last chance to get into the Premier league.

    • beto says:

      i certainly am an advocate of all usmnt players playing in mls at some point however i just don’t feel like he would do well here.. a player of his pay level would be required to play every game and carry the team (something he hasn’t done in a while). plus mls is a very fast paced/athletic league compared to the more physical english championship.. i think this is a better situation for him..

      plus for years now we have been saying, one last big contract for Gooch.. he keeps raking it in!

  12. K says:

    Gooch has the best agent of any AMERICAN to play in Europe

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  13. Coke says:

    At this point Gooch is picking his teams based on how comfortable their seats are. He’ll never see the field in a regular basis again

    • solles says:

      ha well if that is true he has odd standards as the Loftus Road seats are extremely unfomfortable.

  14. Falsify says:

    If he plays well with this spell he might be called up to camp cupcake. Not saying he’ll go to the world cup though.

  15. Snordo says:

    May the flags of the Gooch be unfurled and bells ring across the countryside welcoming the Phoenix like reawakening of the defender of innocence. The Gooch has returned and our lives will never be the same again.

  16. US QPR says:

    QPR only allowed 2 goals in their first 10 games before a 2-2 draw with Millwall last week, as much as I would like to see it I don’t think Gooch ever gets on the field unless there is an injury to the current starters

    • Beckster says:

      Championship is a brutal, physical league and it is rare a player goes through the season with no injuries so I like his chances in this league. Good news.

    • solles says:

      QPR is currently relying on a core of 3 central defenders, two of whih ate mid-30’s and one who is injured. They brough in Gooch because they need him. He’ll play. Not right away perhaps but he will get minutes.

  17. Jersey2Colorado says:

    people make a lot of jokes about gooch, but he’s a beast.. a scoring beast.

  18. Ted in MN says:

    Seriously, who the heck is his agent?

  19. bottlcaps says:

    Good for the Gooch, but I’m afraid the cold and damp of English football will play havoc with his older and now injury prone body. If your getting injured in the sunnier and warmer climes of Spain and Portugal, coming to England can be a test for your footballing skills as well as your body.

    Still, and good step and I wish him the best of Luck.

  20. KHANNNNN says:

    Seriously, is he just paying teams to take him? This guy’s agent should be contracted by US Soccer to propagate Europe with more US players.

  21. Dainja says:

    Look, i know this is crazy but…we have a “not too shabby” USA lineup playing in just the championship (when healthy):

    Gooch —– Whitbread —– Hines —- Packwood

    ——–D. Williams ——-Holden————–

    –Lichaj —- D. Holmes —-Shea

    ———Spector ———- :-)

    (Gooch did play outside back for Twente, Spector started out as a fwd, Lichaj played some midfield for Villa, and I’m assuming Shea gets loaned to a Championship team as expected )

    • Nate Dollars says:

      because this is very serious, i say move spector back to RB, and put gooch up top. now *that’s* the quintessential championship team.

      • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli - Platonias says:

        Shea could function as a target man. Pull Spector back into the def. mid position and bring Spector and Shea into the attacking mid positions.

        • Kingsly Alexander - Sankt Pauli - Platonias says:

          Blah.

          This

          Lichaj-Hines-Whitbread-Ream
          Williams-Gooch
          Spector-Holmes-Holden
          Shea

  22. AC says:

    Great for him. Hope he gets his career going again, playing time, and stays healthy.

    • Dave in San Jose says:

      QPR website says:
      “[Guchi] is widely-tipped to be part of the USA squad that will compete in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer.”
      link to qpr.co.uk

      First, let’s not oversell your acquisition, QPR Marketing Dept.
      Second, who calls him “Guchi”? He’s not a baby. He’s THE GOOCH!

      • AC says:

        If they really want to market him, just show the photo of his stare down of Jared Borgetti.

        • GW says:

          If intimidation is what you want beating up Zlatan should do.

          • Helium-3 says:

            LOL I remember in some of the AC Milan training sessions on youtube, Ibra was walking around practicing his kung fu kicks on players and when he came near Gooch, Ibra didn’t mess with him because Gooch was looking over his shoulder. Wasn’t there some training ground bust up between them and Ibra got hurt? Was this why Gooch went on loan and never played for ACM?

            • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

              He didn’t play for a while because of a knee injury. One of the first days back in training Ibra took him down with a careless tackle and Gooch went at him.
              link to soccerbyives.net
              I think they got rid of him pretty quick after that.

      • Joamiq says:

        Maybe they found a rather wide fellow to provide the tip that “Guchi” would go to Brazil with the US?

  23. AC says:

    And one more thing. Who the heck is his agent?!

  24. Cool Hand Luke says:

    Once more into the Gooch dear friends.

  25. bryan says:

    good for him. better to go to QPR than Valencia. hope it works out!

  26. Good Jeremy says:

    THANK YOU!!!
    Thank you Gooch for finding a respectable club that you will be an important member of instead of going to a CL side where you will largely be a situational substitute. I understand that injuries were a big part of that and he could not have anticipated everything, but this is huge for him and for the USMNT. If he does well he can always be sold up, but it’s harder to get sold down when you aren’t.

  27. Zack G. says:

    QPR is nowhere near South London.

  28. Herschel Skywalker says:

    To all the haters, I simply refer them to the 2010 World Cup where Goochas played like a grown man against Emile Heskey in the England game. Totally shut them down. Not perfect, but when we needed more muscle and stature than speed, and a guy who can pop in a goal every now and then, Gooch has always been the man.

    • Riggity says:

      First, let me say that I am a fan of Gooch, but let’s not act like Emile Heskey is some of world beater. He played well, just say that and don’t mention Heskey….

      • SwanseaPS says:

        Good one Riggity… Not like Heskey and Drogba are in the same league.. just sayin’…

        I think it’s a good move for Gooch, not to mention he’ll get to live in London.

    • keithbabs79 says:

      Wow. One game, some 3.5 years ago. If we’re going to be uber-selective, than I think Freddy Adu is a wonderkid who will set the international football world on fire. It’s has to be true, just ask Nike.

      • Good Jeremy says:

        Plus some epic games against Mexico and other CONCACAF teams. Plus some great play in Belgium. Plus the 2006 World Cup. But yeah, he totally sucks like you said because he had a moderately good game in the World Cup against England.

  29. k says:

    Gooch’s agent is JESUS CHRIST or Warren Buffet

    also remember he played decently at the 2010 WORLD CUP. Although it was just 8months after his serious injury. He had offers to be loaned to several clubs after Milan but wanted to stay and fight for a place. Before Milan he was rumored to have interest from Real Madrid/Chelsea/PSG and several big clubs. how many Yanks can say that?

    I doubt he gets a return to the NT but of course QPR are gonna try and sell this to the media and say “well he played in 5 WORLD CUP games and several CL and Europa League matches”

    • danny says:

      “played decently at the 2010 WORLD CUP…” are you serious? He was awful. How did Milan work out for him? That was a terrible move. Also, who cares about rumors from a long time ago… he was never good enough to play for a top club. period.

      • Good Jeremy says:

        He signed to several top teams, period.
        Whether or not he was a starter is irrelevant, he played for three different Champions League teams as more than just a training player.

        • Good Jeremy says:

          my apologies, he played for FIVE DIFFERENT CHAMPIONS LEAGUE teams. I’m not a stat guy, but I would be interested to see how many players play for five or more different champions league teams.

          Standard Liege
          FC Twente
          Malaga
          AC Milan
          Sporting CP

          • danny says:

            My definition of top team is different. AC Milan is the only one that falls into it. Given his experience there, I wouldn’t use that case an argument for his quality. Other top teams would be Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Man United, Chelsea ect. ect.

          • Joamiq says:

            To be fair though, he was not more than a training player at all of these clubs…

            • solles says:

              eh? He was Belgium first 11 and won a bunch of cups at Standard. Tha’t’s how he ended up at AC Milan where his injry issues started

  30. CSD says:

    Hopefully he’ll get more playing time than Matt Pickens did at QPR

  31. k says:

    Loads of media behind this move. You gotta admit it no other Yanks got as much press as Gooch when it comes to European transfers

  32. Harry in London says:

    triffic move

  33. Ohh my goodness…Gooch in the Championship. Put him at center forward for corners!

  34. solles says:

    wort noting somewhere that its only a 3 month contract.

  35. Four Cents says:

    Gooch is an awesome individual. Good luck the new club..