American Exports: Onyewu reportedly to join Sporting CP
Reports from Portugal indicate that US national team central defender Oguchi Onyewu is on the verge of joining one of Portugal’s biggest clubs.
A Bola says that the 29-year-old will be acquired by Sporting Clube de Portugal on a full transfer from AC Milan, the Italian club which currently holds his contract. The Portuguese sports daily also claims that Onyewu has been a target of Sporting director Carlos Freitas since the player’s days with Belgian side Standard Liège.
The news leaks on the same day that Lisbon-based Sporting announced their participation in the World Football Challenge with a match against Juventus on July 23 at BMO Field in Toronto.
Sporting CP will be featuring a new head coach, 42-year-old Domingos Paciência, who recently led Sporting Braga to the Europa League final against Porto. Paciência will be coaching once again in the Europa League in 2011-12 after Sporting qualified to the competition by virtue of their third-place finish in the Portuguese Liga Zon Sagres.
Onyewu, a World Cup veteran with 60 caps for the USA, made his name in Europe with Standard Liège before moving to AC Milan following the 2009 Confederations Cup. Hampered by a long-term knee injury and unable to find a place in the Rossoneri squad, Onyewu was recently sent on loan to Dutch club FC Twente for the last six months of the most recent European season.
Onyewu was a member of the US national team squad that advanced to the CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Mexico. The central defender did not see time during the tournament, last playing the first half of a 4-0 loss to Spain before the Gold Cup kickoff.