Archive for the ‘Standard Liege’ Category

Onyewu To AC Milan!

July 7, 2009

After much speculation and interest from over a dozen clubs, US and Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu has just signed a 3-year deal to join AC Milan. He will be the first American to play in Serie A since Alexis Lalas played for Padova from 1994-1996.

Gooch’s move to Milan makes much sense when one considers that the Rossaneri’s ageing back line was overdue for renewal, especially given the retirement of longtime great Paolo Maldini.

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Fiorentina, Palermo Enter The Race For Onyewu

June 28, 2009

According to press reports from Italy and Belgium, two Italian Serie A clubs are interested in acquiring American central defender Oguchi Onyewu. Fiorentina and Palermo now join Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Fulham, Besiktas, and Fenerbahce for the 6’4″ player who is available on a free transfer from Standard Liege in July.

Personally, I’d love to see him go to Fiorentina, a club which always plays with a good attacking style and appears on the verge of regaining a potentcy not seen since the Batistuta era.

The Viola had been aiming to sign Barcelona’s Mexican defender Rafa Marquez but since he signed a new deal with the Spanish champions on Thursday, Onyewu has emerged as an option. Their other option is Napoli central defender Fabiano Santacroce – a player also targetted by the deep-pocketed Juventus. This entire scenario also indicates that Juve could end up taking a look at Onyewu if Napoli (a club normally reluctant to sell key talent) decides to keep Santacroce.

The Gooch connection with Palermo looks less likely to result in a a serious bid since the club just made an offer for Sao Paolo central defender Andre Dias and a deal appears to be in the making.

Onyewu has been drawing ever more attention for his dominant play in Belgium’s Jupiler League and strong performances at the Confederations Cup, in particular for his heroic defensive efforts alongside Jay DeMerit in the USA’s 2-0 win over European champions Spain.

If Gooch can turn in another such performance tomorrow in the final against Brazil, expect the list of interested clubs to grow and don’t be surprised to see a few Champion’s League trophy contenders on the list.

Gladbach: Renewed Interest in Onyewu

April 15, 2009

Its been awhile since we’ve had some gratuitous transfer rumors about Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu so let’s fix that right now.

Kicker is now reporting that Michael Bradley’s Borussia Moenchengladbach, which tried to acquire Gooch last winter, has renewed its interest in the 26 year-old Onyewu with a view toward picking him up on a free transfer this summer. Gladbach has already purchased Onyewu’s teammate Dante, who just scored his first Bundesliga goal for the Foals.

Of course to land Gooch, Gladbach will need to do two very important things; beat the offers of other clubs seeking his services (PSG, Fulham, Marseille, etc), and manage to avoid relegation.

According to Express.de (quoting the Belgian Sportportal), Onyewu is ready to sign provided Gladbach stays up in the Bundesliga. So, my spidey sense tells me that until you hear such a statement from Onyewu himself, it means this one is far from being a done deal. I have strong sense that Onyewu would prefer to play in the Premiership but will settle for a good situation in France (where L’OM’s Eric Gerets has him in his sights) or at Gladbach if England proves to be a bridge too far.

So, until you hear it from the Gooch himself, its all just speculation.

Russian Champs Eye Onyewu

January 30, 2009

Reports out of Liege indicate that Russian champions Rubin Kazan have their eye on Standard’s American defender Oguchi Onyewu.

My take? I highly doubt Gooch would say yes to an offer to play in the Russian league since he still seems to have his eye on England or France. With just over 24 hours left in the winter transfer window, there is still plenty of time for Standard to make a pretty penny instead of losing him this summer on a free transfer.

So, when Onyewu suits up for Standard’s match against cellar dweller FCV Dender tomorrow, it could be his last for the Belgian club where he has earned so much respect and praise and from fans and opponents alike.

Onyewu’s Got Game

January 16, 2009

While all the talk about Oguchi Onyewu’s potential transfer to a bigger club in France or England lingers in the air, Gooch is proving that he is not only ready to step into the role on the field but off the field as well. You see, these days the English tabloids aren’t satisfied if a ‘baller has great skills, tactical brilliance, and great speed – you need a top shelf WAG as well.

Now, Gooch’s girlfriend, Persian model Salomé Khorasanchi has made the list of top WAGs in Europe (coming in at number 257) so he is nearly set (and it appears already jumping ahead into modeling). All he needs now is a big fat transfer offer.

Meanwhile, in actual football news, our pal Greg Seltzer has a nice scoop on Sacha Kljestan’s potential new gig.

Also, its heartbreak for Hoffenheim as striker Vedad Ibisevic has suffered a knee injury that will have him out for the rest of the season.

And of course, here is a little something to get you charged up for the weekend…

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Gooch Transfer Rumor Of The Week

January 9, 2009

Well Vagabonds, its Friday and what week would be complete without some new wrinkle in the Onyewu transfer saga? Its either that or gratuitous links to Soundgarden videos.

Since the Soundgarden discography is so finite (given that they broke up in 1997), we need to use them more sparingly. So, I guess Gooch transfer rumors will have to do.

This week Belgium’s ExtraFoot is reporting that Olympique Marseille thinks the price tag on Oguchi Onyewu and his teammate Milan Jovanovich is too high. My spidey sense tells me that we should not take such reports as the final word but rather as part of the transfer dance between two clubs.

Aaah, why not?

Onyewu To PSG In June?

January 4, 2009

As the long-running Oguchi Onyewu transfer saga becomes closer to achieving War and Peace epic status, the strongest links remain with French clubs. We’ve all seen recent statements from Standard Liege that he is not for sale this winter and after the club just pocketed 20 million euros to send Maroune Fellaini to Everton and appears set to make another 10-12 million euros in selling Milan Jovanovich, who can blame them?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, Marseille’s defensive needs are immediate and they are looking for a fix in January to battle for a Champion’s League spot. They’ve got their eyes on Fiorentina’s Da Costa but may not be able to outbid his other suitor, Juventus. So, if Standard is unwilling to sell Onyewu now, L’OM may need to look elsewhere.

But Paris Saint-Germain seems a bit more patient and may be willing to wait until the summer to acquire the American defender. Some observers in Paris seem to think this may be the case but again, its all speculation until a deal is done.

My spidey sense tells me its a June move to either PSG or L’OM unless an English team (Fulham?) swoops in with an offer. Both one English observer and the always reliable Matthias Seidel estimate Onyewu’s transfer value at circa 4 million euros ($5 million).

Sorting Out The Onyewu Transfer Rumors

December 19, 2008

It seems every few months we need to debunk a few transfer rumors about where Oguchi Onyewu could be going if Standard Liege decides to sell him in January. As we’ve reported before, there has always been strong interest from France (Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille in particular) but little has come of this interest.

There has also been interest from nearby Borussia Moenchengladbach, which is struggling to stay up in the Bundesliga this season. If Gladbach has any chance for Onyewu, it would not be until next summer. Another nearby Bundesliga club, 1FC Cologne was also interested but whether they still have Gooch in their cross hairs remains to be seen. So, the French clubs appear to be the front runners (barring any English club which could swoop in, most likely Fulham).

Right now, Marseille’s number one target for central defense is Fiorentina’s Brazilian Manuel Da Costa. Gooch is also on their short list, along with Galatasaray’s Servet Cetin and Atletico Minerio’s Leandro Almeida. Fiorientina are keen to secure a Champion’s League spot and may not be ready to let go of Da Costa, leaving Onyewu and Cetin as the most likely options.

PSG never truly solved their central defense problem after the sudden retirement of new signing Lillian Thuram due to a heart condition. Onyewu could certainly fit into the side well but given Standard’s strong showing in the Jupiler League and UEFA Cup competition this year, the club will drive a hard bargain before they give up the man who has become the team’s talisman.

In short? Still few facts but lots of rumors.

‘Gladbach Interested in Onyewu

December 4, 2008

Add another club to the list of teams interested in Standard Liege’s American defender Oguchi Onyewu. Now, Kicker is reporting that Borussia Moenchengladbach (Michael Bradley’s team) is interested in acquiring Gooch.

While ‘Gladbach could certainly use help on the back line, its hard to see Gooch taking a transfer to a team which appears bound for relegation to the Second Bundesliga (unless he is confident enough to think he can help them stay up).

I expect Onyewu and his agent will hold out for a deal (be it in January or June) which takes him to a team competing in the Champions League. Otherwise, as our Amsterdam buddy Greg Seltzer says, why leave Standard – a team competing for another league championship and a European trophy?

UEFA Cup: Gooch, Standard Crush Sampdoria

December 4, 2008


Standard Liege continues to punch above its weight this season, this time with a 3-0 win over Serie A side Sampdoria. With American defender Oguchi Onyewu anchoring a strong Standard defense while the Belgian side’s attack put the Genoa side under pressure early and often.

Igor De Camargo opened scoring in the 23rd minute on a header past Sampdoria keeper Luca Castellazzi, who was a busy man on the tonight. Just over ten minutes later, a De Camargo corner found Onyewu outleaping the rest to head the ball home for a 2-0 lead. Shortly before halftime, a left footed blast from Milan Jovanovic sent both teams to the locker room with the home side leading a 3-0.

Sampdoria had one good scoring chance in the second half but Marius Stankevičius’ shot buzzed just above the bar. Meanwhile Jovanivic and Dieudonné Mbokani continued to lead attacks on Samp’s goal but muffed some well set up chances. With both teams running out of steam, the match faded out like a 1970s pop record.

The win put Standard Liege into the final 32 knockout stage which starts on December 18th and 19th.

Photo courtesy of UEFA.