Tuesday, 27 October 2015


 BLACK   SOCIAL  HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Oguchi Onyewu

Oguchi Onyewu
Oguchi Onyewu at media roundtable during World Cup 2010-06-17.JPG
Onyewu in 2010
Personal information
Full nameOguchialu Chijioke Onyewu[1]
Date of birthMay 13, 1982 (age 33)
Place of birthWashington, D.C., United States
Height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[2]
Playing positionCentre back
Youth career
1999IMG Soccer Academy
2000–2001Clemson Tigers
Senior career*
2003–2004→ La Louvière (loan)24(1)
2004–2009Standard Liège139(11)
2007→ Newcastle United (loan)11(0)
2011→ Twente (loan)8(0)
2011–2013Sporting CP17(4)
2012–2013→ Málaga (loan)2(0)
2013–2014Queens Park Rangers0(0)
2014Sheffield Wednesday18(0)
2014–2015Charlton Athletic3(0)
National team
1999United States U175(2)
2001United States U204(0)
2004–2014United States69(6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 3, 2014.
† Appearances (goals)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of March 5, 2014
Oguchialu Chijioke "Oguchi" Onyewu (born May 13, 1982) is an American soccer player who as a center back is currently a free agent. He has played for clubs in FranceBelgiumEnglandItaly, the Netherlands, and Portugal. He is the only male defender to win the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award since Alexi Lalas won the award in 1995.

Club career

Onyewu played two years of college soccer at Clemson University, and moved to Europe in 2002, signing with Metz ofLigue 2 in France. In 2003, he was loaned out to La Louvière in Belgium, and to Standard Liège a year later. The move to Liège was made permanent for the 2004–05 season. After the season, he was named to the Belgian league's Best XI as well as Foreign Player of the Year for 2005.
On December 26, 2006, Onyewu was voted U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year. He was the first defender to earn the award since Alexi Lalas in 1995. Having been the subject of many transfer rumors regarding clubs throughout Europe, Onyewu finally completed a loan deal with Newcastle United on January 30, 2007, covering the remainder of the 2006–07 season. He made his debut for Newcastle against Fulham on February 3, 2007,[3] and his home debut a week later, alongsideTitus Bramble, in a 2–1 victory over Liverpool. The two formed an ill-fated partnership, making a number of costly mistakes which was ultimately to cost Onyewu his place. Following the arrival of new manager Sam Allardyce, Onyewu fell out of favor, and Newcastle decided not to make the loan deal permanent.[4] He returned to Standard, and his play continued to improve. He made his 100th Belgian First Division appearance for Standard Liège on March 14, 2008, against Germinal Beerschot, and was an integral part of the club as they went on a 29-match unbeaten streak to win the 2007–08 Belgian First Division. After the season he was named to the Belgian league Best XI for the second time. His strong form continued during the 2008–09 season. He led the Standard defense to a second consecutive Belgian league title. Standard was drawn with Anderlecht at season's end, and Standard won a two-legged playoff for the championship.


Onyewu signed a three-year contract with Milan on July 7, 2009, but never played a league game in his year and a half stint at the club.[5][6] He made his Milan debut on July 22, coming on as a substitute for Alessandro Nesta in a loss to Club América in the World Football Challenge.[7] He made his competitive debut on September 30, again relieving Nesta in a Champions League loss to Zürich at San Siro.[8] Onyewu missed all the 2009–10 season – appearing in only one Champions League match – due a knee injury suffered while on national team duty. At the end of the season, on May 17, 2010, it was announced that Onyewu's contract with Milan was extended by one season, keeping him under contract with the club until the end of the 2012–13 season; upon Onyewu's request, the one-year extension included no salary.[9][10]
On November 5, 2010; Onyewu made international headlines when he and teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović engaged in a fight during training,[11] prior to a league match againstBari. It was reported that Onyewu suffered a reckless tackle from Ibrahimović, causing Onyewu to confront him. The two were then separated by team mates, though the club reported he and Ibrahimović have made up for their fight.[12]

Loan to Twente

On January 11, 2011, Onyewu joined Dutch side Twente on loan until the end of the season.[13][14] Onyewu made his debut for the Tukkers on the January 19 against Heracles Almelo in a Eredivisie fixture where he would play the full 90 minutes.[15] Despite his stay being short lived at the Dutch side, Onyewu would feature predominantly in both domestic competitions and European competitions where his side reached the quarter finals. His stint with Twente saw him accumulate 14 appearances, as well as pick up a cup winners medal after Twente defeated Ajax 3–2 in the KNVB Cup final.[16]

Sporting CP

On June 28, 2011, Onyewu joined Portuguese side Sporting CP on a free transfer where he signed a three-year deal from A.C. Milan.[17] In Sporting CP's first five competitive games of the season, three Primeira Liga and two European qualifying matches, Sporting manager Domingos Paciência opted to start central defenders Daniel Carriço andAlberto Rodríguez alongside Ânderson Polga, which left Onyewu on the bench. Injuries during the start of the season to Carriço and Polga led to manager Domingos Paciência starting Onyewu in Sporting's line-up. Onyewu made his team debut on the September 10 in a 3–2 away victory over Paços de Ferreira where he would play the full 90 minutes.[18][19] He scored his first goal for Sporting CP against Rio Ave at the Estádio dos Arcos on September 19, a week after making his Sporting CP debut, in a 3–2 win in which Onyewu scored the winning goal from a header after a Diego Capel corner kick found him unmarked in the penalty area.[20][21]
Unlike his time with AC Milan, Onyewu's playing time increased during the 2011–12 season. During the season, he gradually established himself as the first team regular starter, playing as a centre-back alongside Ânderson Polga. Despite the sacking of Domingos Paciência and the introduction of Ricardo Sá Pinto as Sporting manager in early 2012, Onyewu remained a first team regular until mid February where he sustained an injury in a league match against Paços de Ferreira.[22] Onyewu's injury which turned out to be an internal lateral ligament and an external meniscus fracture to his right knee kept the American out of action for two months.[23] Onyewu's recovery saw him back in late April where he played his first match in two months against Nacional.[24] Onyewu's recovery meant he would be available to compete in the 2012 Taça de Portugal Final where his side would come up on the losing end against Académica de Coimbra.[25] Onyewu finished his first season with the Leões with 31 appearances to his name, and scoring five goals.

Loan to Málaga

The appointment of Ricardo Sá Pinto on a permanent basis as Sporting manager led to the arrival of Khalid Boulahrouz and Marcos Rojo, which led to Onyewu being loaned out to La Liga outfit Málaga CF on the last day of the summer transfer window.[26] Onyewu made his team debut on the October 24 in a UEFA Champions League group stage matchas a substitute for Francisco Portillo in a 1–0 victory over his former side AC Milan.[27] A week later, he would start and score his first Málaga goal against CP Cacereño on the October 31 in a fourth round Copa del Rey tie.[28] Onyewu's goal scoring form would continue in the same competition against SD Eibar on December 18, where his stoppage time goal earned his side a draw.[29] His stay with the Málaga based side proved to be unsuccessful as he struggled to establish himself as a first team regular in Málaga's side as he only managed to play nine matches all season of which he contributed two goals.

Queens Park Rangers

On the August 30, 2013, Sporting announced the termination of Onyewu's contract by mutual consent.[30] In late October 2013, Onyewu signed for English side Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer.[31] His stay with the London-based club proved to be a disappointing one as he failed to make any appearances and was only used as an unused substitute on six occasions.

Sheffield Wednesday

On January 11, 2014 he joined Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season.[32]

Charlton Athletic

On October 31, 2014, Onyewu signed for Charlton Athletic on a short-term contract. On December 26, 2014, he made his first appearance for Charlton in a 1–1 draw game toCardiff City, where he played at the 58 minutes from the bench in place of Joe Gomez. On December 29, 2014, the club announced that his contract had been extended through to June, the end of the 2015 season.[33]
On 12 May 2015, Onyewu was released at the end of his contract.[34] Shortly thereafter, he was given a trial with Major League Soccer side New York City FC.[35]

Racism controversy

Onyewu dealt with racism during his time in Belgium, even having been punched and shouted at by racist fans while playing for Standard Liège.[36] The most well-publicized incident occurred in the 2008–09 Championship playoff when Anderlecht defender Jelle Van Damme, according to Onyewu, allegedly repeatedly called him a "dirty ape,"[37] even after Onyewu relayed the information to the referees.[38] Van Damme denied the accusations following the match and in return said that Onyewu himself taunted him in a racist way by calling him "dirty Flemish."[37] Approximately two weeks later, on June 2, 2009, it was announced by Onyewu's lawyer that he was suing Van Damme in an effort to end on-field racism in European football.[39] The case was withdrawn in February 2011 after a meeting between the two players when Van Damme apologised for any offence he may have given.[40]

International career

Onyewu was a mainstay on the United States national team for the 2006 and 2010 World Cup cycles. Prior to this, he also represented the U.S. at various youth levels, including at the 2001 World Youth Championship. He made his first appearance for the senior national team on October 13, 2004, against Panama.
Onyewu scored his first international goal in the 2005 Gold Cup, nodding home the extra time winner in the semifinal against Honduras, and was later named to the tournament Best XI.
Oguchi played for the U.S. in the 2006 World Cup, and started in all three United States games. Just before halftime of the third and final group stage match against Ghana, Onyewu conceded a penalty from which Ghana scored, and the U.S. were eliminated with the resultant 2–1 defeat.[41][42]
During the 2009 Confederations Cup, Onyewu was paired with Jay DeMerit due to the injury of his normal partner, Carlos Bocanegra, who was unable to play in the group stage. Onyewu played well against Egypt, helping lead the U.S. to a 3–0 win that earned them a berth in the semifinals. He also had a standout performance in the 2–0 semifinal victory over Spain.
In a World Cup qualifier draw against Costa Rica on October 14, 2009, Onyewu suffered a patellar tendon rupture, forcing him to miss the rest of qualifying.[43]
During the 2010 World Cup, Onyewu started and played the full 90 minutes in the United States' first group match against England on June 12. During the second group match against Slovenia on June 18, he got his second start but was subbed out in the 80th minute. He did not play in the third group match against Algeria on June 23, nor did he play during their second round meeting against Ghana on June 26.

International goals

List of international goals scored by Oguchi Onyewu[44]
1.July 21, 2005Giants StadiumEast Rutherford, US Honduras2 – 12–12005 CONCACAF Gold Cup
2.June 2, 2007Spartan StadiumSan Jose, US China PR4 – 14–1Friendly
3.February 6, 2008Reliant StadiumHouston, US Mexico1 – 02–2Friendly
4.March 26, 2008Stadion Miejski, KrakówKraków, Poland Poland2 – 03–0Friendly
5.October 11, 2008RFK StadiumWashington, D.C., US Cuba6 – 16–1Q 2010 World Cup
6.October 9, 2010Soldier FieldChicagoIllinois, US Poland2 – 12–2Friendly

Career statistics


As of February 3, 2014 [45][46][47]
Club performanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
FranceLeagueCoupe de FranceCoupe de la LigueEuropeTotal
2002–03MetzLigue 23000000030
BelgiumLeagueBelgian CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
2003–04La LouvièreBelgian Pro League241000000241
2004–05Standard Liège303000000303
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
2006–07Newcastle UnitedPremier League110000000110
BelgiumLeagueBelgian CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
2007–08Standard LiègeBelgian Pro League332000000332
ItalyLeagueCoppa ItaliaLeague CupEuropeTotal
2009–10MilanSerie A0000001010
NetherlandsLeagueKNVB CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
PortugalLeagueTaça de PortugalTaça da LigaEuropeTotal
2011–12Sporting CPPrimeira Liga174403150285
SpainLeagueCopa del ReySupercopa de EspañaEuropeTotal
2012–13MálagaLa Liga2042003092
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
2013–14Queens Park RangersChampionship0000000000
EnglandLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
2013–14Sheffield WednesdayChampionship160110000171
Career total220161133124125921


As of December 15, 2014[48]
National teamYearAppsGoals
United States

Personal life

Onyewu's parents moved to the United States from Nigeria to study in Washington, D.C. They are ethnic Igbo people of Nigeria.[49] Onyewu has two brothers, Uche and Nonye, and two sisters, Chi-Chi and Ogechi. Growing up in Silver Spring and later OlneyMaryland, Onyewu attended St. Andrew Apostle School and Sherwood High School before enrolling in the U.S. residency program in BradentonFlorida.[50] He then returned to Sherwood to graduate and went on to play soccer for two years at Clemson. He also holds Belgian citizenship.[51] He speaks English, French, Italian and Portuguese.[52] Onyewu is a practising Catholic.[53]
At 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) and 210 lb (95 kg), Onyewu is the second-tallest outfield player in U.S. team history (after Omar Gonzalez).[54]