Cynicism bubbles up quickly re: Onyewu deal

I’ve now heard three or four people (including Beau Dure) express worry over the Onyewu to Milan move. Is Milan deep? Sure it is. But it’s also old. And so far, there is zero evidence to show that this is any kind of shirt-selling, American marketing ambition behind this deal. Are we really so cynical as to immediately fear for a player’s form and career whenever one signs for a big European club? Shouldn’t we be thrilled about this? Of course.

There are plenty of very good reasons that Milan signed him:

  1. He showed an ability to compete with some of the best players in the world in the Confederations Cup and elsewhere
  2. He has physical attributes that coaches everywhere dream of in a central defender
  3. He possesses a Belgian passport, meaning he does not count against Milan’s foreigner limit
  4. He was signed out of contract without a transfer fee

Allow me to compare him for a moment to another player from an “unfancied” soccer country, who, when signed, was assumed to be for commercial rather than on-the-field reasons – Park Ji Sung of Manchester United. Park has quickly become a fan, and managerial favorite at Old Trafford, and I see no reason why “Gooch” couldn’t do the same thing at the San Siro.


16 thoughts on “Cynicism bubbles up quickly re: Onyewu deal

  1. I’m utterly cynical about this because the last thing our national team needs is one of its best players being buried on the bench somewhere. But if he does play, it’s a wonderful move. So please, Gooch, show us all.

    Hey, maybe Gooch can play with Beckham and then tell Grant Wahl how terrible a teammate he is.

  2. Milan is not deep at center back. Nesta is always injured, and Khladze is injured often, but not as much as Nesta. With Maldini retiring, all they have left is Silva…the soccernet article is accurate with this info…

    Gooch will get his shot…

  3. Between Serie A, Copa games, Champions League….there should be a solid 80 games up for grabs for Milan this year. He has a *3 year* contract. He may not play much the first 3-4 months as he acclimates – this is NORMAL. I predict he’ll average 35+ games a year barring injury. That is more than enough at this level.

  4. And I too am astounded at the negativity. All you hear for years and years is the lack of Americans playing at the highest level. First REAL opportunity and a bunch of pansy whining. We know we don’t have world class striker or midfielder talent coming out of our country. We were known for keepers…the next logical step is a center back making it big.

  5. Yes we should be happy that our talent are being scouted by Euro teams, and not just mid-table teams at that! And as for Gooch having to ride the pine for a bit, that is true whether he is an American or an Italian or a Spaniard, unless he is already a world-class star that is fully developed.

    Even if he doesn’t start every game, the team practices and just being around higher levels of talent and experience will do him good.

    I’m also glad to hear you mention Ji-Sung Park, a player who doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his role at MU. There are even people blaming him for the CL final loss to Barca (wtf?). I guess when people write off a nation, it’s only natural for them to write off that nation’s ‘exports.’ But for fans of the U.S. to write off Gooch’s move as shirt-selling shenanigans shows really little faith in the guy, even after his performance at the Confed Cup.

  6. Isn’t cynicism (or at least worry) to be expected after all the sitting that Adu and Altidore did this past season?

  7. It’s a fantastic signing for Milan. They get a truly imposing central defender at bargain basement prices. Gooch will get to play. If he does well, he will play a lot.

    It’s also fantastic for the USMNT. Italian defensive training. Yum.

  8. That’s okay considering all the playing Edu and Bradley did this past season.

    I don’t worry about Adu and Altidore season, and especially not Jozy because it would be insane to not play him at this point. I honestly think Onyewu is of the quality that he can get considerable minutes for AC Milan. We really need to chill out and prepare not for potential failure, but also success…Is it really so bad that a US positional player may be among the World’s elite? I’m just happy that the opportunity has been given here. Let’s all hope Onyewu floors Italian Soccer and the fans.

    Let’s pull for Gooch.

  9. Do soccer fans understand that a player has a short career and that they need to look out for their best interests, whatever those may be?

    Fans selfishly think about their national team while players need to think about their career and retirement. Players make decisions in their own best interest, not the fans.

  10. Do you understand that unless I’m in Gooch’s Will, I don’t care?

    I’m not saying that Obama should send in Delta Force to block the move, just that what’s good for Milan and good for Gooch may not be so great for fans of the National Team.

    I see three possible outcomes:

    1. Onyewu gets buried behind other defenders and doesn’t really ever play much.

    2. Onyewu gets his chance to play regularly, and doesn’t do well enough to keep the job and they quickly replace him.

    3. Onyewu gets his chance to play regularly and plays well enough to keep his job.

    I see either of the first two as more likely to happen than the last.

    I like Gooch, but a starter on one of the top 10 teams in the world seems like it might be stretching his abilities just a touch. As cover and insurance he’s a great pickup for such a team, but then that’s not exactly a good situation for a US fan.

  11. The brother will play, the Italians like what they saw in SA… and he has a euro mentality. He will play, succeed and improve, and be an even bigger success.

    His approach should be copied by all the USMNT, and let’s dump Bob and Sunil too while we’re at it.

    Can we clone him and his approach to the game.

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