Oguchi Onyewu signs with Philadelphia Union
Former U.S. World Cup center back Oguchi Onyewu is coming to MLS after signing with the Philadelphia Union on Monday.
Out of action since 2015, Onyewu will play his club soccer on U.S. soil for the first time after a lengthy and winding career throughout Europe. The 34-year-old Onyewu, who has 69 caps and two World Cups under his belt, joins a number of U.S. internationals with the Union, including recent January call-ups Chris Pontius, Alejandro Bedoya and Keegan Rosenberry, and veterans Maurice Edu and Charlie Davies.
Onyewu left Clemson University to sign with Metz in France in 2002, beginning a lengthy journey abroad. His stops included La Louviere and Standard Liege in Belgium; Newcastle, AC Milan, FC Twente, Sporting Lisbon, Malaga, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic.
This picture speaks a thousand words! Time reveals all, and trusting in God's plan for my life and career has allowed me to keep focus and faith in my goals and dreams. I can't express the feeling of joy I have as I embark on my new journey with the Philadelphia Union @philaunion and my first time playing in America. I am beyond motivated and excited for the future ahead. Words can't express my appreciation to my wonderful family and friends who have aided me in keeping my focus and pushing me to keep working and trust that everything always works out in the end. And a big thanks to the Union for allowing me the opportunity to continue playing the most beautiful sport on this planet...#Live #Love #Laugh #Learn #Philaunion #NextChapter #5 #Family #Friends
The Washington, D.C.-area native returns to the Mid-Atlantic, where he'll hope to help fortify a defensive unit in need. Only four teams leaked more goals than the Union last season, and the club bowed out of the playoffs in the one-game wildcard round.
“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,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said in a club statement. “He provides excellent depth at the center back position and we are pleased that we were able to add him to our squad.”
Fitness will be a big question facing Onyewu, who last played a competitive match almost two years ago–Feb. 7, 2015, for Charlton Athletic. His last U.S. cap came March 5, 2015, in a friendly against Ukraine.