Oguchi Onyewu to AC Milan: The Steal of the Transfer Season

General PeppersCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2009

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 28: Oguchi Onyewu and Luis Fabiano compete during the 2009 Confederations Cup final match between Brazil and USA from Ellis Park on June 28, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

AC Milan supporters can flip those frowns into smiles.

No, Oguchi Onyewu is no Kaka. But what he is, is a world class defender that the team so desperately needed with the retirement of captain Paulo Maldini.

Largely unknown outside of America, Onyewu made a name for himself with the USA's strong Confederations Cup run.

He, and a vastly underrated Tim Howard, played a key part in keeping America in the tournament much longer than they should have been.

The world watched on as Onyewu put on a man of the match performance in the semifinals against Spain, holding the European giants scoreless and leaving the world's best strikers stunned.

At 6'4", 210 pounds, Onyewu is a perfectly-sized center back capable of taking on even the largest of forwards.

He also possesses an uncanny quickness for a man of his stature and can mark the quicker strikers with relative ease. 

His greatest quality might actually be his ability on set pieces. While his placement needs work, his ability to get a head on the ball is top notch.

While he still needs to work on his offsides game and teamwork with other players of his caliber, he should be a welcome addition to the Milan side in serious need of a spark.