Oguchi Onyewu Signs for QPR

After being released from Sporting in the summer, Oguchi Onyewu now finds himself playing for Championship side Queens Park Rangers.

The American centre-back joined Sporting back in June 2011 on a free transfer and had a fairly solid first season with the club as well as being a goal threat from set-pieces.

Last year, however, the defender spent the season on loan to Málaga CF and his contract was cancelled in summer.

Khalid Boulahrouz Finalises Brøndby Move

You may have wondered what happened to several of the players who left Sporting in the summer (or maybe not, there were few great ones). Khalid Boulahrouz has though made his move to Danish football to join Brøndby IF. The deal had been on the cards for a long time but his 1 year contract has only recently been finalised. It’s hard to believe this is a man who Jaap Stam once thought of as his successor.

For those wondering Valeri Bojinov there are mixed reports, some say he has joined Budapest Honvéd whilst other sources declare he is still a free agent. He was most recently seen saving a man’s life.

Elsewhere Oguchi Onyewu is still without a club. Although recently he has been linked with a possible move to Valencia after centre-back Adil Rami got himself into hot water with his comments about the club and could be forced out.

Hugo Ventura, who had a brief spell on loan from Porto, is also a free agent.

Sporting News Round-Up

It’s been a busy week for Sporting with a few games, the close of the transfer window, and the Europa League groups drawn so it’s time for another huge round-up of all the Sporting news.

First, we’ll catch up with Sporting’s last two games in which Sporting had varying success.

The first was a massively disappointing 0-1 defeat at home to Rio Ave. Edimar’s well worked goal in the 40th minute was enough for the visitors to secure the win. The game was typical of the first opening games for Sporting. Sporting had plenty of possession but failed to break through the Rio Ave defence and at times looked hugely out of ideas – and when they did make chances proceeded to miss them. In the second-half also saw the debut of the new Argentine forward Valentín Viola.

Sporting XI: Patrício; Cédric Soares (YC), Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo (YC), Emiliano Insúa; Gelson Fernandes (YC) (Valentín Viola 72′), Adrien Silva (Zakaria Labyad 46′), Elias (André Martins 46′); André Carrillo (YC), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Danijel Pranjić, Jeffrén Suárez

After the game Ricardo Sá Pinto was furious and promised a win and goals in the next game in the Europa League against AC Horsens. Last week the sides drew 1-1 and Horsens goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow stole the show.

Sá Pinto’s side truly delivered with a thumping 5-0 victory to secure a place in the Europa League group stages (draw to follow). Danijel Pranjić started ahead of Emiliano Insúa at left-back to make his full Sporting debut.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel, who had been misfiring in previous games, opened the scoring after 8 minutes with a lovely half-volleyed finish. Thomas Kortegaard was unfortunate to see a ball bounce cruelly off his knee and then into the net to put Sporting 2-0 ahead at half-time.

After the restart Ricky van Wolfswinkel got his second goal from close range after some poor Horsens defending from a corner. André Carrillo scored the goal of the game when his superb strike from the edge of the area hit the underside of the cross bar and went in before a good Elias strike finished the hammering.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; Cédric Soares, Khalid Boulahrouz, Marcos Rojo, Danijel Pranjić; Gelson Fernandes (Daniel Carriço 74′), Adrien Silva (André Martins 65′), Elias; André Carrillo (Jeffrén Suárez 65′), Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Xandão, Emiliano Insúa, Zakaria Labyad

On Friday 31st August came the Europa League draw which saw Sporting drew in Group G alongside FC Basel, KRC Genk, and Videoton FC.

Interestingly, Hungarian side Videoton are managed by one-time Sporting player Paulo Sousa. As well as that Renato Neto is also on loan at the Hungarian club from Sporting and it is where former Sporting player Marco Caneira is currently playing.

Full fixtures:

20th September: SPORTING vs. Basel
4th October: Videoton vs. SPORTING
25th October: Genk vs. SPORTING
8th November: SPORTING vs. Genk
22nd November: Basel vs. SPORTING
6th December: SPORTING vs. Videoton

Before we move onto all the transfer news there will be Sporting players involved for Portugal over the next international window:

Portugal: Rui Patrício
Portugal U-21: Cédric Soares, André Martins and Pedro Mendes

Speaking of Rui Patrício. Patrício signed a new contract with the club keeping him at the club now until the end of the 2017/2018 season. On top of that Rui Patrício’s release clause has been increased to €40,000,000.

So now to the transfers.

Sporting completed only one transfer in to the club and that was of Júlio Alves (brother of Bruno Alves) joining Sporting B on loan for the season from Turkish club Beşiktaş.

There were plenty of moves out of the club though, albeit almost all loan deals…

Florent Sinama Pongolle cancelled his contract with Sporting meaning he is now a free agent. Pongolle spent last season on loan at Saint-Étienne and will be widely remembered as being one of Sporting’s most wasteful signings.

Wilson Eduardo will be spending next season on loan at Académica after almost making it into the first team this year.

Valeri Bojinov, who was certainly never going to play for Sporting again, has moved on loan to Hellas Verona. Bojinov had long been rumoured to be joining Torino but ended up at Hellas instead.

B-Team defender João Gonçalves will join Vitória de Guimarães on loan.

Another B-Team defender, Atila Turan, will be in Turkey next season playing for Orduspor. He’ll be playing alongside former Sporting player Miguel Garcia.

And finally, in the most surprising move, Oguchi Onyewu will be playing for Málaga next year. Onyewu did little wrong last season with Sporting but his loan deal will mean he get more first-team football. The arrivals of Rojo and Boulahrouz made his departure more likely.

So there you have it! The B-Team are facing Marítimo B later today with a report to follow later.

Match Report: Rio Ave 1-1 SPORTING

Oguchi Onyewu’s 87th minute goal cancelled out João Tomás’s early goal to give Sporting a draw against Rio Ave. Marcelo Boeck will be more than pleased with his contribution, providing 3 outstanding saves in the dying minutes of the game.

On his 42st birthday Domingos Paciência chose his full strength side that showed his intentions were to take the Taça da Liga seriously this season even with the large fixture list. The only notable exclusion from the first eleven was Marcelo Boeck being chosen ahead of Rui Patrício in goal.

The home side had the better of the opening period of the game and managed to find a goal after just 16 minutes. Jorginho’s freekick was saved away by Marcelo Boeck but the Brazilian goalkeeper’s punch could only found the head of the Rio Ave’s 36-year old striker João Tomás to easily head home.

Going behind seemed to be a kick in the bum for Sporting as they started to increase their possession and begin to threaten Paulo Santos’ goal.

Elias had Sporting’s first real opportunity of the game, a good cross on the left from Diego Capel found the midfielder in space in the box. The resulting shot was poor and Elias blazed over the bar from close range.

Rio Ave could have doubled their lead soon after then when excellent play from Yazalde found João Tomás through on goal. The experienced striker though decided  to try and chip Marcelo Boeck but his attempt when miles over the bar when he should have done better.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Emiliano Insúa both had good chances for Sporting before the interval but failed to convert, Sporting going into half-time 1-0 down.

The restart followed the same pattern as much of the later period of the first half did with Sporting have most of the possession.

Rio Ave’s defence proved a strong force to breakdown and Sporting found it hard to create. In reaction to this Domingos brought on the returning Matías Fernández in the place of André Santos to try and add extra spark to Sporting’s play.

It wasn’t until 61 minutes had gone though that Sporting had their first real chance of the second half. Young defender André Dias played a suicidal back pass that fed in Diego Capel 1-on-1 with Paulo Santos. The goalkeeper did well to stay big and forced Diego Capel out wide and being able to save the Spaniard’s shot. It was though a guilt edge chance for Capel to draw his side level.

Once again Domingos Paciência tried to change the game through a substitution taking off Diego Capel and bringing on Marat Izmailov to play his first game since September. That change later followed by bringing on André Martins for the largely ineffectual Elias.

With Sporting pushing to equalise Rio Ave started to become a greater threat on the counter-attack. Christian Atsu found himself against Marcelo Boeck but the goalkeeper pronounced another fine save with his feet to deny the forward on loan from Sporting’s next opponents, Porto.

Sporting finally managed to equalise after 87 minutes when Oguchi Onyewu converted João Pereira’s low cross to bring the away side level. Onyewu’s second goal against Rio Ave after scoring against them in the league earlier this season.

The game was certainly not over then, especially when referee Cosme Machado decided on an extra 5 minutes of stoppage time.

It was Rio Ave though who could have done on to win the match in the final moments of the night if it had not been for some last minute heroics from Marcelo Boeck. The Brazilian superbly saved twice against Yazalde from point-blank range before another smart save from a corner to ensure Sporting at the very least gained a point.

Sporting XI: Marcelo Boeck; João Pereira (YC), Oguchi Onyewu, Ânderson Polga (YC), Emiliano Insúa; André Santos (YC, Matías Fernández 54′), Stijn Schaars (YC), Elias (André Martins 73′); André Carrillo, Diego Capel (Marat Izmailov 64′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel
Subs Not Used: Rui Patrício, Evaldo Fabiano, Bruno Pereirinha, Valeri Bojinov

Match Report: SPORTING 1-0 Nacional

Sporting beat Nacional 1-0 in a close fought contest thanks to Oguchi Onyewu’s first half header.

Domingos Paciência made two chances for the side that beat Belenenses 2-0 in the Taça de Portugal last Monday with André Carrillo replacing Valeri Bojinov and André Martins replacing the suspended Stijn Schaars.

The game started at a frantic pace right from kick-off with Sporting have the majority of the possession and chances. It was Ricky van Wolfswinkel who had the first real chance for the home side but his close-range header was hit straight at Nacional goalkeeper Marcelo Valverde.

Sporting did hit the net though after 22 minutes when André Carrillo won a freekick in midfield. André Martins delivered the ball in which was flicked on by Emiliano Insúa into the path Oguchi Onyewu to head home from close range, the American getting his 2nd Sporting goal.

Nacional’s best first half chance came from when Rene Mihelič’s misplaced cross hit the top of Rui Patrício’s goal.

Just before the break Sporting had the ball in the net again but Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s tap-in was ruled out as Diego Capel was offside as he delivered the ball to the Dutchman.

After the end of a fast-paced first half the game slowed down in the second half. Pedro Caixinha’s side began the restart as much more of a threat going forward.

Mario Rondón should have pulled Nacional level in the 57th minute when he found himself in space from Claudemir’s cross but was unable to get his resulting shot on target.

Paciência soon made changes, first Bruno Pereirinha coming on for André Carrillo and later on in the game André Santos coming on in place of the once again impressive André Martins.

Nacional had the best chance of the game again through Mario Rondón in the 75th minute when he had a free header in the box but Patrício did brilliantly well to deny him from close range.

It seemed Nacional were looking more and more likely to score but when Danijel Stojanović received his second yellow cards just 7 minutes after Rondón’s chance it took the wind out of Os Alvinegros‘s sails.

The numerical advantage meant Sporting could comfortably see out the rest of the game and make it now 3 wins and 3 clean sheets in a row.

Sporting XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira (YC), Ânderson Polga, Oguchi Onyewu (Scored 22′), Emiliano Insúa; Daniel Carriço, André Martins (YC, André Santos 67′), Elias; André Carrillo (Bruno Pereirinha 59′), Diego Capel (Santiago Arias 85′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (YC)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Evaldo Fabiano, Valeri Bojinov, Diego Rubio

Sporting Players Called for International Duty

A whole host of Sporting players have been called up for international duty by their respective clubs.

The international week will take place this week until Sporting return to action in the Taça de Portugal to take on Famalicão on the 15th October.

Below is the full list of Sporting players who will be on international duty this week;

Argentina: Emiliano Insúa and Fabián Rinaudo
Brazil: Elias
Bulgaria: Valeri Bojinov
Chile: Matías Fernández
Netherlands: Stijn Schaars
Peru: Alberto Rodríguez
Portugal: Rui Patrício and João Pereira
Portugal U21: André Martins, Luís Ribeiro, Cédric Soares, Pedro Mendes and Wilson Eduardo
USA: Oguchi Onyewu

Match Report: Rio Ave 2-3 SPORTING

Sporting Clube de Portugal picked up a valuable 3 points away to Rio Ave after having almost thrown the game away entirely in a hugely entertaining encounter in Vila do Conde.

Sporting made the best possible start that they could have imagined. After only 90 seconds a corner hit low by Elias was smashed into the net by Stijn Schaars, the Dutch midfielder scoring his first goal for his new club.

Just seconds after the restart and Sporting were at it again. This time a floated Diego Capel cross fell to the feet of Ricky van Wolfswinkel, the other Sporting Dutchman making no mistake from close range.

Things looked even worse for Rio Ave not long after that. A clash between Oguchi Onyewu and João Tomas left the Rio Ave player worse. Onyewu’s trailing foot hitting the forward in the nose, meaning the veteran forward was to be replaced by Christian Atsu.

To their credit, Rio Ave did not let the initial disappointing start affect the way they went about the rest of the half. As the half drew on the home side got into the game more and more and started to create chances.

Sporting certainly took their foot of the pedal too and a few moments will be a cause for concern for Domingos Paciência. Especially the two mix ups involving Rui Patrício, who had a very poor game by his standards. The first, a miscommunication between the goalkeeper and João Pereira that could have resulted in Christian Atsu pouncing to tap the ball home.

The second mistake by Patrício could also have ended in a Rio Ave goal. After 37 minutes Rio Ave were heartily starting to take the game back to a lackadaisical Sporting side. A Rio Ave ball crossed into the box and Rui Patrício wildly missed his opportunity to claim the ball giving Tarantini a chance of a free header that just went wide of Patricio’s left hand post.

It meant that returning the dressing rooms at half-time, Rio Ave had the morale victory. In spite of their terrible opening 5 minutes, Carlos Brito’s side had ended the half on top of the play.

Rio Ave started the second half brightly too, and on the 49th minute the substitute Christian Atsu pulled one back for the home side. His shot from a tight angle on the left hand side of goal should have been parried away by Rui Patrício, but the Sporting goalkeeper failed to get a strong enough hand to it and it flew past him to give Rio Ave even more hope.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting could count very lucky that Onyewu was not sent off. Shortly after the goal, he fouled Christian Atsu in a good position on the edge of the penalty box. Onyewu had already picked up a yellow card in the first half and the referee, Hugo Miguel, who had been happy to book players throughout the game, surprisingly did not produce a second yellow for the American.

Domingos Paciência could see that Rio Ave were now having the better of the game and made his first change in reaction, bringing on the more defensive-minded Bruno Pereirinha on for André Carrillo.

Rio Ave though continued go for the second goal, pushing forward at every opportunity and pressuring the Sporting players high up the pitch. This meant that Sporting were trying to grab a third goal through pace on the counter attacks. Paciência’s side went close too, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel having a close range shot well blocked by the Haitian right back Jean Sony.

On the 63rd minute Rio Ave got their well-deserved equaliser and this time Patrício was certainly not to blame. On the left hand side again Christian Atsu did well to get the ball past Bruno Pereirinha and fizzed in a low cross that Yazalde beat the Sporting defence to get on the end to and beat the goalkeeper from close range.

Conceding the equaliser meant now Sporting had to push forwards and were unlucky not to take the lead just 2 minutes later when João Pereira sent a low cross that Ricky van Wolfswinkel only marginally failed to make contact with.

Diego Capel was next to go close for Sporting, his shot from the left hand was well saved by goalkeeper Paulo Santos and went out for a corner in the 74th minute. Capel took the resulting corner and Oguchi Onyewu, the man who was fortunate not to have been sent off, powerfully rose above the Rio Ave players to head home and restore Sporting’s lead.

It went to bad to worse for Rio Ave yet again minutes later when Jean Sony was given his second yellow card of the match after a dive, meaning Rio Ave had to try and come back at Sporting again with just 10 men.

Just seconds after the sending off came a moment that summed up Rui Patrício’s night perfectly. A simple back pass towards the goalkeeper took a huge bobble off of the Estádio do Rio Ave pitch meaning Patricio was left kicking thin air. Sporting were lucky this happened just wide of the goalmouth and Patrício avoided further embarrassment.

At the next break of play, Carlos Brito reacted to Sony’s sending off by bringing on midfielder Braga on for Kelvin to make sure that his Rio Ave did not concede again. Domingos too reacted, bringing on André Santos for Elias.

Rio Ave were less of a threat to Sporting whilst down to 10 men but in the very last moments of the game certainly had chances to grab an equaliser. Firstly, Tiago Pinto found himself in room on the left hand side and fired a hard shot at goal but Patricio redeemed himself somewhat by making a strong save to turn the ball round the post for a corner.

With the last throw of the dice Tarantini went close to as he just missed out on connecting to a cross but it was not to be and Sporting return to Lisbon with the 3 points.

Sporting appear to have not quite turned the corner yet. Domingos Paciência will certainly be worried about the attitude of his players after having gone 2-0 down to 2-2, but there is room for improvement as the team continues to gel together.

The result may not be perfect but there certainly are positives with some of the players on the pitch. Diego Capel, Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Fabián Rinaudo all had particularly good games, with Rinaudo perhaps Sporting’s best player on the pitch.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício (YC); João Pereira (YC), Alberto Rodríguez, Oguchi Onyewu (Scored 74′, YC), Emiliano Insúa; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), Stijn Schaars (Scored 2′, YC), Elias (YC) (André Santos 79′); André Carrillo (Bruno Pereirinha 54′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Scored 3′), Diego Capel (Matías Fernández 85′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ânderson Polga, Evaldo Fabiano, Valeri Bojinov

Report: Paços de Ferreira 2-3 SPORTING

Sporting Clube de Portugal got their first 3 points of the league season with, in the circumstances, a highly impressive away against Paços de Ferreira.

Sporting could not have made it harder for themselves, after 75 minutes Paços de Ferreira were 2-0 against Sporting and must have thought that they would at least come away with some points against the misfiring Leões side.

For the starting XI, coach Domingos Paciência made some changes to the starting eleven. Of course, Yannick Djaló and Hélder Postiga have both moved on to other clubs and so they both had to be replaced (previously they had started every match under Paciência). In the place of Yannick was the returning Bruno Pereirinha and in the place of Postiga was a first start of Valeri Bojinov.

Another interesting selection in the starting XI was the inclusion of Oguchi Onyweu, making his Primeira Liga debut, in place of Ânderson Polga. Emiliano Insúa in the place of Evaldo Fabiano. Elias also made his first appearance for Sporting Clube de Portugal.

Paços took the lead within the first 5 minutes with Michel opening the scoring, striking from the result of an indirect freekick. It is the kind of goal that Sporting have become far too used to conceding recently.

Stijn Schaars had the closest chance of the first half with his freekick curling on to the bar with the Paços goalkeeper Cássio well beaten.

Going into half-time it felt like a familiar scenario for any Sportinguistas watching. For the most part Sporting had the better of the play but still found themselves a goal behind with only themselves to blame.

In the 55th minute the game looked dead and buried for Sporting as Michel’s header made it 2-0 to Paços de Ferreira on the night.

Sporting though refused to capitulate and on the 71st minute Nuno Santos picked up his second yellow on the night after a foul on Diego Rubio, meaning Paços were down to ten men.

Sporting were quick to take advantage and found their way back into the match on the 76th minute, with Marat Izmailov’s deflected shot sneaking its way into the net. It was a fortunate break for Sporting but one that they took the utmost advantage of.

Just 3 minutes later, debutant Elias made it 2-2 and only 5 minutes after that Ricky van Wolfswinkel timely got his first Sporting goal to make it 2-3 and to eventually give Sporting the 3 points on the night.

It was a great win for Sporting to stop Paços de Ferreira from becoming too much of a bogey team and ensured Domingos Paciência and Sporting picked up their first league win of the season thus far.

SPORTING XI: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Alberto Rodríguez, Oguchi Onyewu, Emiliano Insúa (YC); Fabián Rinaudo, Stijn Schaars (Marat Izmailov 46′, Scored 76′); Bruno Pereirinha (Diego Rubio 55′), Elias (Scored 79′), Diego Capel; Valeri Bojinov (Ricky van Wolfswinkel 64′, Scored 84′)
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Ânderson Polga, Evaldo Fabiano, André Santos

Official: Onyewu Signs for Sporting

Oguchi Onyewu’s transfer to Sporting Clube de Portugal is complete, the USA international has signed a 3-year deal on a free transfer from AC Milan.

Onyewu’s transfer became apparent on Monday and he is set to try and revive his career but will have competition for his place from Daniel Carriço, Ânderson Polga and another new centre-back signing from a free transfer – Alberto Rodríguez.

After his deal was made official Onyewu said: “Obviously I know this club. It has a great history and my ambitions are in the Alvalade to help restore its historic grandeur. I am aware of the significance that the team has finished in third place last season. I want to help win the championship this year.”

This deal has become Sporting’s 7th transfer as the club has completely reinvested to try reclaim the league title.

Oguchi Onyewu Not Far from Joining Sporting

Oguchi Onyewu, the USA international defender, who is currently under contract at AC Milan could well be on his way to join Sporting Clube de Portugal shortly.

According to A Bola, Onyewu is in Lisbon right now and is set to finalise a transfer to Sporting. Having spent the last half of the season on loan at FC Twente it seems that Onyewu has put his injury problems behind him after a knee injury ruined his start to life in Italy.

Onyewu would be the second centre-back to sign for Sporting after Alberto Rodríguez signed back in May.