Photo by ISIphotos.com
BY DYLAN BUTLER
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As news of Oguchi Onyewu's move to AC Milan on a free transfer reached the U.S. National Team here, Charlie Davies couldn't help but be excited. Yes, he's thrilled for his Confederations Cup teammate, but seeing an American player go to one of the world's biggest clubs he thinks can hopefully break down barriers for others.
"Gooch signing with AC Milan opens a lot of doors for Americans and makes a lot of clubs realize that Americans can play," he said after the U.S. training session Tuesday morning at RFK Stadium. "Hopefully now younger guys coming up can have a dream that they can play at Madrid, they can play at Milan because now Gooch has been able to break the barrier."
After a breakout performance in the Confederations Cup, Davies' stock is on the rise, as well. The Hammarby striker has drawn interest from Ligue 1 sides Rennes, St. Etienne and Sochaux.
"For me it's definitely exciting to hear all these clubs talking about me and wanting me for my services," Davies said. "At the moment, I'm just focusing on the national team and continuing to have success with this team. Hopefully everything will sort itself out soon."
Onyewu will become the first U.S. national team player to play in Serie A since Alexi Lalas played for Padova in 1994-95.
"It's a fantastic move for Gooch,its great for American soccer players," Steve Cherundolo said. "We wish Gooch all the best. He certainly deserves it. He had an excellent tournament in South Africa and has played solidly the past few years. I just want to congratulate him."
Onyewu, who played at Standard Liege for five seasons, also drew interest from Ajax, Real Madrid and Fenerbahce.
"It's very exciting," Bob Bradley said. "It's one of the great clubs in the world. Certainly, the experience that he'll get there will really be important as we move forward with our national team."
What do you think of the move? Will it open doors for other Americans. Who would be the next likely candidate to go to a European giant? Share your thoughts.