i've never actually heard of this before, is there actually any precedent for making a national team pay back a club squad for an injury?
A national team has never paid up but it's a very real possibilty. The G20 of rich teams have been pushing this for a few years now.
I pay my star players millions, I 'lend' him to you and he gets hurt. Not only do I still have to pay him, but he's not on the field either. More and more clubs make a stink about letting a guy go to his national team because he ahas a boo boo.
Onyewu needs to go somewhere and actually log minutes, or he will find himself a backup for the MNT .... being a stud in Belgium has to be preferred to warming the bench in Italy. He wasn't a factor for USA in this latest round of qualifying.
Cherundolo, on the other hand, looked fantastic versus Costa Rica.