A few snippets of news for you from Europe today, as two USMNT players trying to reignite their national team hopes ahead of the 2014 World Cup.
First of all towering defender Oguchi Onyewu, who last appeared for the U.S. in the 2013 Gold Cup, has joined English Championship side Queens Park Rangers.
After leaving Sporting Lisbon last season, free agent Onyewu has been training with QPR recently and signed a short-term deal for Harry Redknapp’s men.
“QPR are a club with huge ambitions to return to the Premier League and I wanted to be part of it,” Onyewu said. “I had a really good feeling about QPR from the moment I arrived here. I’ve been welcomed by the club and I feel good here already. I’ve already integrated well into the group, so I’m looking forward to what will hopefully be a very successful and happy time here.”
The move is Onyewu’s second-stint in England after spending time with Newcastle back in 2007. The injury-prone central defender last played for Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. side in the 4-1 win over Cuba on July 13, when ‘Gooch’ captained the Nats as they made the Gold Cup quarters.
Can a successful season in England’s second-tier really catapult the former AC Milan, Malaga and Sporting Lisbon defender towards Brazil 2014?
Elsewhere in England, Stoke City midfielder Brek Shea is also hoping to kick start his chances of being on the plane to Brazil by going out on loan. The 23-year-old winger has found chances hard to come by since Mark Hughes took charge, and despite the Potters struggling to score this season Shea hasn’t had a look in.
Shea, who scored the winning goal for the U.S. against Panama in the 2013 Gold Cup final to cap off some impressive cameo appearances from the bench, revealed he was close to a loan-deal with Derby County but then manager Nigel Clough left.
“Birds were chirping. There was word, but obviously he got sacked,” Shea said. “I’ve got to get playing, whether here or on loan somewhere. It’s up to the gaffer and hopefully he tells me something soon.”
In all honesty, Shea has a much better chance of making the USA’s squad than Onyewu as the youngster just hasn’t had any luck with injuries or a chance to string together a run of games in recent times. Klinsmann loves his enthusiasm, and as we saw in the Gold Cup, Shea offers an instant impact off the bench that could be extremely helpful in tournament soccer.
Shea needs a move, and fast, to reignite his career following last January’s move from FC Dallas to Stoke. The USMNT may well lose a game-changer if he doesn’t get regular soccer this season.