U.S. Soccer
Men's National Team

Oguchi Onyewu

Defender Caps/Goals -
  • Date of Birth

  • Height / Weight

    6-4 / 210

  • Hometown

    Olney, Md.

  • Club

    Sheffield Wednesday (England)

A supremely athletic defender with towering aerial capabilities, Onyewu has been a mainstay in central defense for several years and fought his way back from injury to resume his already accomplished career. A torn patellar tendon in his knee suffered in the final match of World Cup qualifying in 2009 set him on a race to recovery that he completed in time to start two matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. At the club level, Onyewu made one of the biggest moves in U.S. Soccer history when he signed for AC Milan as a free agent in the summer of 2009, though the rehab process made it difficult to crack what was already a star-studded lineup. Onyewu continues to advance his impressive European career, having joined Sporting Lisbon after a loan spell at Eredivisie’s FC Twente at the beginning of 2011.

  • A member of the U.S. team that reached the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup final
  • Gamely battled back from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee to start in the first two matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup against England and Slovenia
  • Scored the second goal in the USA’s 2-2 draw on Oct. 9, 2010, against Poland, increasing his career tally to six goals
  • Ever-present on the backline for the USA, he featured in all five Confederations Cup games in 2009 and eight final round World Cup qualifiers before going off injured in the final qualifier against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium on Oct. 14
  • A two-time winner of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, he was part of the championship squads in 2005 and 2007
  • An alumnus of the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program, he helped the U.S. to their best-ever fourth place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship along with Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley
  • Helped Standard Liege of Belgium to two consecutive titles following a 25-year drought.

U.S. National Team – 2011: Made four appearances for the U.S., including the 1-0 win against Honduras on Oct. 8, the U.S.’s first win under Jurgen Klinsmann … A member of of the team that reached the Gold Cup final … 2010: Started the opening group matches of the World Cup against England and Slovenia … Appeared in five straight matches, beginning with the May 25 match against Czech Republic in the Send-Off Series … Scored the second goal in the 2-2 draw on Oct. 9 against Poland, increasing his career tally to six goals … Wore the captain’s armband three days later in the 0-0 draw against Colombia in Chester, Pa. … 2009: Started a career-high 13 games to take his total above the half century mark for his career … Underlined his importance to the team by playing in eight final round World Cup qualifying games and all five Confederations Cup games in South Africa … Nominated for the 2009 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year award … Went down injured in the final 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier with a torn patellar tendon set to keep him out for the first few months of 2010 … 2008: Started all 10 games he featured in during 2008 … Earned Man of the Match honors after scoring against Mexico in February and earned similar plaudits for his performances in the away matches against Spain and Cuba … Scored in the comprehensive 3-0 win against Poland on March 26 in Krakow … Tallied his first goal in World Cup qualifying in the 6-1 win against Cuba on Oct. 11 at RFK Stadium, in front of friends and family from Maryland … All three of his goals came from headers … Consistently forced to mark some of the toughest players in the world, he came up against Wayne Rooney and Fernando Torres … 2007: A member of the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship squad, he featured in five of the six games for the team … Scored his second career goal for the U.S. when he headed home a DaMarcus Beasley free kick as part of a 4-1 victory against China in June … Earned Man of the Match honors in the 1-0 win against South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Nov. 17 in Johannesburg … Also appeared in the 2-0 victory against Mexico in Phoenix in February … 2006: Onyewu entered the 2006 FIFA World Cup having cemented his position as first choice center back, alongside Eddie Pope … He appeared in all three group games … Controversially called for a foul in the box in the Ghana game, a decision that led to the game-winning penalty … Finished the season with six appearances for the USA, all of them starts in central defense … 2005: Made quite an impression as a newcomer, winning nine caps … Scored his first-ever goal with the U.S. in dramatic fashion, heading home a Landon Donovan free kick in added time to beat Honduras and put the U.S. into the Gold Cup final … Recognized for his play by being voted to the tournament’s best XI … Named Man of the Match in opening round against Canada … Started in four of six Gold Cup matches, including the final … His other five starts were all in World Cup qualifying … On Sept. 3, in his strongest performance of the year, helped the U.S. stifle the Mexican attack and maintain a clean sheet while taking Man of the Match honors as the United States beat Mexico 2-0 to advance to World Cup finals … Took home the award for Best Performance: Player in ussoccer.com’s ‘Best Of’ series with his impressive defensive effort against Jared Borgetti in that Mexico match … 2004: Earned his first cap with the MNT, coming on as a reserve in the 86th minute against Panama at RFK Stadium on Oct. 13 in a 2006 FIFA World Cup semifinal round qualifier … In that game, he came close to getting his first goal when he went up for a corner kick and got a shoulder on the ball, knocking it goal-bound where a Panama defender deflected it into his own net for an own goal … Made his first start in the team’s next qualifier against Jamaica at Columbus Crew Stadium on Nov. 17 … Under-20s: Totaled one goal and three assists in 15 international appearances for the U-20s … Started in all four matches during the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship, playing every minute of every match … Notched an assist during the World Youth Championship … Played all 270 minutes at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, notching an assist against Guatemala … Under-17s: Started all five matches he appeared in at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship, playing every minute of every match … Tallied two goals and two assists for the U.S. in New Zealand, including scoring the equalizer in their 2-2 draw with Australia in the semifinals … The USA’s leading goal scorer in the home-and-away series with El Salvador that the U.S. won 10-1 to advance to New Zealand … First Appearance: Oct. 13, 2004, vs. Panama … First Goal: July 21, 2005, vs. Honduras.
Professional – 2011: Played the full 90 minutes in every Portuguese Superliga and Europa League match in which he featured in the first half of the season … Headed home the game-winning goal in the 1-0 win against Nacional on Dec. 11 … Scored a goal in the 3-2 win against Rio Ave on Sept. 19 … Joined Sporting Lisbon on a three-year deal … 2010-11: Did not appear in a competitive match for AC Milan in the first half of 2010-11 season … Went on loan to Dutch side FC Twente, where he made eight appearances, including two 90-minute performances as a left back in his first two Eredivisie matches … 2009-10: Recovery from the patellar tendon injury kept him sidelined for the second half of the 2009-10 campaign … Signed for AC Milan on July 7, 2009, putting pen to paper on a three year contract … Made his competitive debut for Milan coming on as a second half sub during a Sept. 30 UEFA Champions League game against FC Zurich … 2008-09: In a title race that led to a playoff after the teams tied on points and goals scored, Standard and Anderlecht faced off for the league title, with Gooch’s side coming out victorious following a 2-1 aggregate victory … Narrowly missed out on qualification for the Champions League group stage after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Liverpool in extra time … Eliminated Tim Howard and Everton from European play when they dispatched the English side in the first round of the UEFA Cup … Scored against Sampdoria in group play as Liege qualified easily for the final 32 of the competition in 2009 … Ended his Liege career with 139 league appearances and 11 goals … 2007-08: Despite much speculation about where his club soccer would be played, he started the season again at Standard de Liege … The Belgian club enjoyed a blistering start to the season where they went unbeaten through 14 games and finished the season on a similar tear, losing only one game in 34 during the domestic campaign … They also took part in the UEFA Cup for the second year in a row … Hoisted the league trophy at the end of the season, the first Liege title in 25 years and Onyewu’s first trophy in his club career … 2006-07: After half a season at Standard Liege, he was loaned to Newcastle United of the English Premier League … Made his debut against Fulham on Feb. 3 … Went on to feature throughout the second half of the season, making 11 total appearances for Newcastle … New manager Sam Allardyce elected to not make the loan move permanent … He returned to Standard Liege at the beginning of the summer … 2005-06: Helped Standard Liege to an impressive second-place finish, their highest position in 11 seasons … Remained a fixture in the first XI, appearing in the vast majority of matches for which he was available … Anchored a defense that had kept nine clean sheets by the winter break … 2004-05: Narrowly missed qualifying for the 2005-06 UEFA Cup, losing 4-3 on aggregate to Racing Genk on the last match day of the year … An impressive showing forced Liege to exercise their option on the defender in October … He then claimed the starting role and was named one of the best defenders in the country … 2003-04: Was sent back to Metz, but once again the club loaned him to a Belgium club, this time to Standard Liege … Started 24 matches and scored one goal during the season as he impressed from his central defensive position … Was named player of the week in February … 2002-03: Suited up for his first match in a 1-0 victory against Bordeaux in a French League Cup match in January … After a coaching change, he was sent to Belgian side Louviere on loan after the season.