January 30, 2017
GOOCH IS BACK
Former USMNT defender Onyewu signs with Union
By Michael Lewis
|Oguchi Onyewu will try his hand with the Philadelphia Union.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Gooch is back.
Former U.S. national team defender Oguchi (Gooch) Onyewu has been signed as a discovery player with the Philadelphia Union, the Major League Soccer club announced Monday morning.
Onyewu, who turns 35 on May 13, hasn't played since a three-game stint with Charlton Athletic in England during the 2014-2015 season.
Yet, the Union felt that the veteran defender still can play.
“Oguchi is a big, physical presence who brings experience and veteran professionalism, important traits that we believe will be an asset for our group of young defenders,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He provides excellent depth at the centerback position and we are pleased that we were able to add him to our squad."
Onyewu was on a two-week trial with New York City FC when it was a first-year MLS expansion team in 2015, but did not cut the mustard with then head coach Jason Kreis.
Gooch has never performed in Major League Soccer during a 15-year professional that has included stops at Metz (France), La Louvière and Standard Liege (Belgium), A.C. Milan (Italy), Twente (the Netherlands), Sporting CP (Portugal), Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton (England).
Onyewu has made 69 appearances for the U.S. national team, scoring six times. His first and perhaps most memorable international goal came in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals against Honduras at Giants Stadium on July 21, 2005, when he headed in Landon Donovan's free kick in stoppage in what turned into a 2-1 victory. He also was a member of the 2006 and 2010 World Cup teams.