Oguchi Onyewu worked a full shift as FC Twente lost 2-0 to Zenit St. Petersburg in Europa League action.
Courtesy of FC Twente

American Exports: Onyewu's Twente need miracle

AMSTERDAM – Oguchi Onyewu and FC Twente will try to pull off a near impossible mission of overturning a 5-1 Europa League quarterfinal deficit when they welcome Spanish side Villarreal to Enschede for the second leg on Thursay night.

Having sat out a weekend league draw, the US defender could well be in line for another start against the Yellow Submarine. What's known for sure is that there will be some key changes to the home side from leg one.

For starters, young Twente netminder Nikolai Mihaylov will step aside for wily veteran Sander Boschker. Up field, right back Roberto Rosales is suspended and forward Luuk de Jong has been ruled out by an ankle injury.

A glimmer of rally hope is provided by the fact that Villarreal will arrive even more shorthanded. Attackers Santi Cazorla and Nilmar are serving bans, while Gonzalo, Ángel López and Marcos Senna are on the mend.

During this tourney, Villarreal have lost only two of six road contests and they have never lost in Holland in their history of European competition. However, Twente may take heart from the 5-0 La Liga beating that Villarreal took on the weekend at the hands of Valencia.

The Tukkers, meanwhile, must initially shoot for a 4-0 result in their favor to advance on away goals. They have never posted an equal or better result in European play, but did stroll past Russian champs Zenit St. Petersburg by a 3-0 count in the last round.