American Exports: Onyewu misses Twente's costly finale
AMSTERDAM — Oguchi Onyewu was in a philosophical mood Sunday after his loan spell with FC Twente ended with him watching from the stands.
On the field, Twente tripped up on the final day in pursuit of the Eredivisie title, falling in the season finale 3-1 to Ajax. The outgoing champs finished the season as runners-up, two points shy of the team Onyweu flirted with joining before signing with AC Milan in the summer of 2009.
Twente had tuned up for the championship bout by defeating Ajax to raise the KNVB Cup in Rotterdam last weekend, but were KO'ed in Sunday's main event.
"Every title is important, but obviously we hold more importance on the league title," Onyewu told MLSsoccer.com after the match. "It's unfortunate, but that's football. Credit to Ajax — they came to play from the beginning and I think we started a little slow. They got on top of us, and then the own-goal was hard to swallow."
The US star said it was difficult being an injured spectator, both due to the feeling of helplessness and from having to sit in a raucous sea of Amsterdam ArenA faithful.
"It does make it tougher to have to watch — especially when you're dodging beers from the fans," Onyewu quipped. "They had the ideal atmosphere to play for the title in the last game of the season."
Despite the letdown, Onyewu wasn't in the mood to feel sorry for himself or the club.
"We've had a wonderful season," he said. "I'm happy, even though we're not 100 percent content with this result."
Now, the American will rest up until his abdominal muscle injury heals and think ahead to his summer plans with the US national team. Part of the reason he sat out the two biggest Twente games of the season was to ensure readiness for CONCACAF Gold Cup duty.
"We didn't want to take any risks," he said. "It's nothing serious. They said that in a week it should be fine. Hopefully, now, we can go win the Gold Cup."