Is it time for Gooch to move on?

October, 11, 2010
10/11/10
7:51
PM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- For U.S. central defender Oguchi Onyewu, getting the necessary competitive minutes to fully recover from a serious knee injury that kept him out from last October until the World Cup is crucial. Yet at AC Milan he is buried in the depth chart.

Even before his injury, Onyewu had yet to play a single Serie A minute for Milan, which signed the out-of-contract player away from Standard Liège in 2009. And this summer, Milan signed two more central defenders -- one of whom, Colombian Mario Yepes, will face the U.S. tomorrow -- which will make Onyewu's chances of cracking the starting XI even more difficult.

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Onyewu Oguchi
Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty ImagesWill Gooch leave AC Milan for a club that will give him more playing time?

Onyewu's club situation is so dire that even the usually tight-lipped U.S. head coach Bob Bradley suggested Onyewu's best option might be a transfer to a club where he could get some playing time and regain his form.

"Gooch would be the first to tell you that it's a tough spot because he feels like he's capable of playing there and he hasn't gotten that many opportunities," Bradley said in a news conference today.

"He's been in training there six, seven weeks in a row. Now he comes here and gets a full match," said Bradley, referring to Saturday's friendly against Poland. "You hope this is going to help push him into some playing time at Milan and if not I know that he understands the importance of playing, and like other players, there'll be some discussions between him and the club. As far as my role, when we speak about it, it's simply the idea that in the long run he needs to play. Going forward you hope that he can continue to find the right place."

Onyewu refused to address reporters today, as he has all week.

Leander Schaerlaeckens

Contributing writer, ESPN.com
Leander Schaerlaeckens is a contributing writer for ESPN.com. He has previously written for The Guardian, The Washington Times and UPI.

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