Oguchi Onyewu, the U.S. World Cup defender whose status has slipped amid injuries and a drop in form, has moved to Sporting Lisbon from AC Milan on a free transfer. He signed a three-year contract with the 18-time Portuguese league champions.

Onyewu was on loan to Twente this spring, and despite his 14 appearances, the Dutch club declined to purchase his contract.

“Great things to come,” Onyewu wrote on Twitter. Sporting qualified for the UEFA Europa League, the continent’s second-tier tournament. Onyewu didn’t play in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Meantime, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard has apologized for comments he made following the 4-2 loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl on Saturday.

After the match, Howard complained about the awards ceremony being conducted in Spanish: “CONCACAF should be ashamed of themselves. I think it was a [expletive] disgrace. You can bet your [expletive] if we were in Mexico City it wouldn’t be all in English.”

To read Howard’s apology.....

“I am the father of young children, and I certainly do not believe profanity is appropriate in public comments. I was caught up in the heat of the moment,” he said in a written statement distributed by his representatives, Wasserman Media Group.

“I also want to stress that I have no problem whatsoever with the use of the Spanish language at international competitions held in the U.S. I have nothing but great respect for other cultures, and in this case for the Mexican national team and its supporters. On that night, they played a great game and deserved their win. I play in international matches all the time, and multiple languages are used at almost all of them.”

“The point I made, which I stand by, is that it is inappropriate and disrespectful for the post-match ceremonies to take place primarily in the language of only one of the participating teams. In any important international match with post-game ceremonies, you would hope the tournament organizers would make sure that the primary language of each participating team is used so that the participants can understand what is being said. To fail to do this is, in my opinion, disrespectful to the players. When this occurs on your home soil, it is particularly insulting. We, as American players, were asked to participate in a post-game ceremony at a match in Los Angeles and we are standing there trying to show good sportsmanship and yet the ceremony is going on and we are just looking at one another struggling to understand a word. It was, to be honest, humiliating, and I firmly believe the tournament organizers should not have put us in that position.”