Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Local Boy Wants to Go to Chelsea? Oguchi Onyewu's agent has confirmed that Chelsea is in discussions with Gooch's Belgian club, Standard Liege, seeking a transfer of his contract. French club Lyon is also seeking to acquire Onyewu, but Onyewu is not thrilled because Lyon would prefer to wait until the summer. Gooch certainly doesn't want to sit on Chelsea's bench -- so, the question there is whether Gooch can expect to play for the star-laden Blues?

Onyewu, who went to Sherwood High School in nearby Olney, Md., turned down an offer from Fulham earlier this month, for reasons that remain unclear. He has also rejected an earlier bid from Real Madrid. Onyewu's stock is clearly quite high, but he has to ask himself whether it is really likely he would be a regular with Chelsea? If Gooch makes the move to Chelsea, it would be the biggest step up by an American player since Tim Howard signed with Manchester United a couple of years ago. Gooch would not want to repeat Howard's experience, even if Howard seems to have landed on his feet with Everton.

On the other hand, getting the chance to defend against Didier Drogba, Andrey Shevchenko, Arjen Robben, Michael Ballack and Frank Lampard, every day in practice, and to learn from the great John Terry...? To call that an unparalleled opportunity might be the greatest understatement in history. It's like getting to practice with the '27 Yankees. Talk about a Field of Dreams....

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