Oguchi "Gooch" Onyewu will become the fourth American to sign for a Serie A club, and the first for one of the big three of Italian calcio. Before him, Alexi Lalas played for Padova, Giuseppe Rossi for Parma, and Gabriel Ferrari for Sampdoria (although Ferrari never featured in a Serie A game.)
This is a very positive development for American soccer. Even if many pundits don't rate the Serie A as highly as the EPL or La Liga, Americans need to be exposed to Italian calcio. Onyewu will be a good fit for Milan: He is physical, good in the air, and extremely smart.
Onyewu hails from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. He played high school soccer at Sherwood in Olney, Maryland, and then spent a few years at Clemson University. He has played for Standard Liege of Belgium for many years.
"Dopo il raduno e la contestazione di ieri, il Milan piazza il pirmo colpo di mercato. È Oguchi Onyewu, il difensore centrale americano, 27 anni, di origini nigeriane, arriva a titolo definitivo dallo Standard Liegi, a fine contratto. Onyewu è in possesso anche di passaporto belga e ha sottoscritto un contratto con scadenza 30 giugno 2012. Onyewu si è messo in luce nell'ultima Confederations Cup, disputando una grande semifinale contro la Spagna e ripetendosi nella finalissima contro il Brasile. Difensore dal gran fisico, Onyewu ha vinto due campionati in Belgio con lo Standard Liegi e in carriera ha vestito anche le maglie di Metz e Newcastle. Il neo rossonero è nato a Washington il 13 Maggio 1982. Cresciuto nel college della Clemson University, Onyewu ha alle spalle 117 gare (6 gol) in campionato con lo Standard Liegi. Con la nazionale Usa ha vinto la Gold Cup nel 2005 e nel 2007, e ha collezionato 38 partite e 5 gol."Italian Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 07 July 2009.
"After the first day of training camp and the fan revolt of yesterday, Milan took its first strike in the transfer market. It is Oguchi Onyewu, the American central defender, 27 years of age, of Nigerian origin, who arrived from Standard Liege out of contract. Onyewu has a Belgian passport and signed a three year contract until 30 June 2012. Onyewu put himself into contention during the Confederations Cup, where he had a great semi-final against Spain and repeated his efforts against Brasil in the final.Adriano Galliani, VP of AC Milan
A defender with a great physique, Onweyu has won two Belgian Championships with Standard Liege and has also played for Metz and Newcastle United. The new "Rossonero" was born in Washington on 13 May 1982. He attended college at Clemson University, and featured 117 times with 6 goals for Standard. With the US National team, he won a Gold Gup in 2005 and 2007, and has been capped 38 times with 5 goals."
"L'americano mi sembra un buon giocatore che rafforza il pacchetto difensivo. Lo seguivamo e ce ne ha parlato molto Luciano D'onofrio che è l'anima dello Standard Liegi, è un buon giocatore che ha sempre fatto bene e la Confederations Cup ha alzato le sue quotazioni".
"The American is a very good player that reinforces our defensive scheme. We have followed him for some time. We spoke to one of the directors, Luciano D'Onofrio in Belgium, who said he was the soul of Standard Leige. He is a good player that has always done well and his profile rose at the Confederations Cup."Translated from Gazzetta TV.
World Football Challenge
Onyewu in action against Luis Fabiano in the Confederations Cup Final.
North American fans won't have to wait long to see Oguchi in an AC Milan kit. In less than two weeks, AC Milan will begin a North American tour. They will play the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center, and then three games in the nascent World Football Challenge against Club America, Chelsea, and their eternal cross-town rivals, Internazionale.