List of Americans Abroad
Hahnemann, Howard duel to draw in Premier League.
Reyna to leave England and join Red Bulls.
McBride scores, but Fulham loses lead, ties Leicester in FA Cup.
Onyewu trains with Standard while he awaits his fate.
Fulham acquires Dempsey, applies for work permit; Bocanegra, McBride help Cottagers draw Chelsea 2-2.
Hahnemann, Friedel record shutout victories in EPL.
West Ham, Fulham draw 0-0 in duel of U.S. players.
Friedel, Rovers win meeting of American goalkeepers.
Eyeing move to Spain or England, Onyewu rallies Standard to draw.
With Convey hurt, Reading reverses slide by winning pair.
Friedel is solid in net for Rovers, but Blackburn is sinking.
Friedel, Rovers have tough week, falling in Cup, league.
Nightmare grows for Lewis, Leeds United.
Friedel makes seven saves, but Rovers fall to Bolton 1-0.
Reading gains respect despite recent Premier League slide.
McBride recovers from blood disorder to lead Fulham.
Keller, Mönchengladbach go down 3-0 to Werder Bremen.
With Lewis starting, Leeds defeats Birmingham under interim manager.
Happy Howard helps Everton rise near top of English Premier League.
Blues fans see red over Beasley's (brief) choice of boots.
Number of Americans in top European leagues increases.
Convey assists winner, Reading drops Manchester City 1-0 in EPL.
With Johnson on the attack, Wolves win again, 1-0 over Leeds.
Onyewu move to Marseille is completed, Standard says.
By Chris Courtney (in Brussels)
| Oguchi Onyewu says farewell to Standard de Liège fans after playing his last match with the club tonight
-- Standard de Liège web site photo --
and Robert Wagman
(in Washington, D.C.)
BRUSSELS (Friday, January 26, 2007) -- After being courted by several of the top teams in Europe, United States central defender Oguchi Onyewu committed to sign today with Olympique Marseille of the French Ligue 1.
Standard de Liège, which is currently tied for third place in Belgium's Jupiler League, will receive a transfer fee reported to be around $4 million from Marseille.
"A final agreement will be signed over the weekend with Marseille," read a statement on Standard's web site.
Onyewu went the distance for Standard tonight, earning a yellow card in the 32nd minute of a 5-2 decision over SC Charleroi.
Onyewu, 24, had been linked to clubs in Spain, Italy, England and France. Fulham, an English Premier League club which already had U.S. striker Brian McBride and defender Carlos Bocanegra, and was then in the process of finalizing its acquisition of American midfielder Clint Dempsey, offered a transfer fee approaching $2 million for Onyewu earlier this month, but the proffer was rejected.
Will Sherling, Onyewu's agent, said it was the player's decision not to go to Fulham, though he did not give a reason. During last summer, Onyewu turned down an offer to move to Middlesbrough of the Premier League.
AC Milan and Lazio of Italy's Serie A were said to be interested in Onyewu, but nothing came of talks with those teams. In recent days, much specualation surrounded a possible move to two-time defending EPL champion Chelsea, which reportedly offered Liège $3.95 million for the transfer.
The EPL's Newcastle United was also said to have bid on the 6-foot-4, 210-pound American, noted for his physical style of play.
| Oguchi Onyewu will return to France where he previously played for three years.
-- United States Soccer Federation web site photo --
Sherling confirmed the offer and said intense negotiations had taken place, while French champion Lyon had also been in discussions for Onyewu.
"Lyon wants to sign the player," Sherling told Associated Press. "They want to do the deal, but they want him to stay at Liège until the end of the summer."
The Chelsea deal fell through, according to media reports, because Onyewu was concerned that the club's manager Jose Mourinho would leave at the end of the season and he might not fit into a new coach's plans.
Onyewu, who was named the U.S. Soccer Federation's 2006 "Male Athlete of the Year," spent three years with Metz (2002-04) in France, though he played only three times for the first team. Metz did loan him to La Louvière of Belgium, where he played in 24 matches and scored one goal in 2003.
Onyewu speaks French and is quite familiar with Ligue 1. That clearly made him desirable to Marseille, where he will likely start from the moment he arrives.
Marseille currently stands in second place with a record of 11-7-3 for 36 points, even with Lens (10-5-6) on points, but well behind league-leading Lyon (16-3-2, 50 points). There is a bitter battle for second place and its attendant berth in the European Champions League with seven teams within six points of Marseille and Lens.
Marseille identified bolstering its back-line as a top priority for the January transfer window.
Another factor that might have made the American defender more appealing to Marseille is the club is about to be sold to a Canadian group headed by businessman Jack Kachkar. The pharmaceutical magnate is looking to buy the 1993 European champion for around $130 million from owner Robert Louis-Dreyfus, club president Pape Diouf told the media Tuesday.
Onyewu appeared 93 times for Standard -- all but once in a starting assignment -- making 75 appearances in league play, nine in Cup matches and nine in European competition. He totaled eight goals, 20 yellow cards and three red cards.
"Gooch," as he is known, has represented the U.S. men 17 times, including starting all three World Cup matches last summer in Germany. He has one goal in international competition.
Onyewu grew up in the U.S. system, playing every minute for the Americans in five matches in the 1999 Under-17 Men's World Championship and in four outings during the 2001 World Youth (Men's Under-20) Championship.
Chris Courtney, SoccerTimes European correspondent, is an expatriate American living in Brussels. Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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