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Oguchi Onyewu

2010-06-18 07:17
Age: 28
Position: Central defender
Club: Milan

USA's tallest ever player, Onyewu has become a mainstay on the United States national team. 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.

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, and was ruled out for four months. He recovered in time to make the USA squad for the 2010 World Cup, and started in fine style, denying England space and closing down Wayne Rooney with strong physical challenges in the USA's opening match.

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