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Onyewu goes full 90 in Twente debut


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Oguchi Onyewu's drought of playing club-level soccer has come to an end.

Onyweu played 90 minutes in his first match with FC Twente since being loaned to the club from AC Milan, with whom he hadn't played since September, 2009.

Twente defeated Heracles, 5-0, behind four goals from Marc Janko. Perhaps the more notable item to come from the match, though, is that Onyewu was stationed at left back for the duration of the game.

With the victory, Twente is a point beind table-leader PSV Eindhoven as the Eredivisie heads into the second half of its season.

Did you watch the match? Were you impressed with how Onyewu played? Do you hope to see more or less of him playing at fullback?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. unless you have tireless midfielders that are disciplined and good at tracking back. We’ve got a few of those. I think it’s worth trying a formation that puts your best players on the field.

  2. I have wondered this as well. With a lack of quallity fullbacks and a number of box to box midfielders like Bradley and Donovan it’s always seemed to be something that works well with our current personnel. Spector Holden Bedoya and even Beasely could still fit that mold in the forseeable future.

    Altidore – other
    Dempsey – Holden – Donovan
    Edu Bradley
    Goodson Gooch Cherundolo

    Gomez Agudelo Bunbury Davies Benny Spector Diskerrud Bedoya Torres Boca Lichaj Bornstein Ream Gonzalez

  3. Everyone is making way too much of him being at left back.

    For one thing the opposition was awful.

    For another thing Pruedhomme knows Gooch very well from their time together at Standard so I’m pretty sure he was confident Gooch could handle it. I think the manager simply wanted to get Gooch some PT in the defense never mind where.

    For another thing Milan played Gooch at center forward. I,for one, hope to see more of that.

    Cheer up, at least he didn’t play him at right wing, though I would have liked to have seen that as well.

  4. ———Clint——–





    Subs- Altidore, Benny, Torres, Bedoya, Bornstein/Pearce, maybe a DM?

  5. He made one run forward and was called offsides. When Twente had the ball, their right fullback pushed up into a right winger position, leaving three in the back line. So he didn’t have a lot of chances to go up. Plus, if you go up, you have to sprint back. Not fun!

  6. Well, I hope left back isn’t a long term plan for Gooch this season. He didn’t look bad, but his positioning was awkward at times and a better winger will cause him lots of problems. His distribution was good and he did very well in clearing a couple of dangerous crosses. I don’t know what is worst, playing out of position, or not playing. For now, I’ll take being able to watch him play.

    Did anyone else watch the game? I thought it was strange that Marc Janko, who is Austrian, did the post-match interview in English.

  7. There is no telling who will be striker 3 years from now… Seriously, from burnberry to salgado, to bobby wood I mean really… penciling in anyone but Holden, Edu, Donovan, and dempsey, right now is just stupid

  8. I think you keep Jones on the left dmid type spot in that formation as cover for our crappy left back play. (I love Boca but he’s slow and prone to lapses; Jones can pop out to shiver the timbers of a winger or drop back to allow Boca freedom to fail).

  9. Pardon me…..but you must be insane or be running a high fever today. Fill-in at LB for the Nat’s???? Ah, no….hopefully never…or it must be a disaster of a game w/lots of injuries and poor coaching to choose that substitution. International talent vs. Twente opposition talent are far apart.

    Although it is a great sign of his regaining agility and quickness following major surgery.

  10. Jeez, let’s worry about the Gold Cup for now… do you think you would have correctly guessed our WC10 starters in 2007?

    If no one from the current U20 team is starting for us by WC14, I will be extremely disappointed.

  11. Hate the line up and formation but I have said for some time now. why not play Jones at LB? he’s played it before and this has the wheels a nd toughness to do it. When thee big boys come in I would like to see…


    just to see. I think some combo of this would be highly affective.

  12. Chile were drawn a bad blow, getting Brazil in the Round of 16? If the had gotten in Paraguay or Uruguay’s groups, would you look at them, and their 3 man back line, differently?

    But, back to Goochie, I’m just glad he’s getting some playing time.

  13. I watched the game, and I’m a big Gooch supporter… but I think everyone should calm down on the left back stuff. It’s great that Gooch filled in when his team needed him there and he did okay, but the guy’s a CB.

    The team they played today stunk, and while Gooch wasn’t bad positionally, he did get beat 1v1 a couple of times. He doesn’t have the speed for fullback.

    Against international competition, any team with a speedy, half-decent right winger would eat him up. (It should not be understated that Heracles, the opposition today, stunk.)

    The positive is that Gooch moved well today and put in a professional shift.

    But the guy is a CB, and the Nat team needs him there as well.

    (And all this talk about a 3-man back line, yeah, I’m not a big fan of that either. You only get away with 3-man back lines in crappy leagues. Chile was the only team at the world cup to play 3 in the back, and they garnered a lot of press — but they didn’t advance any further than the U.S. High level football demands 4 players in the back.)

  14. I’d actually go with more of a 3-4-2-1 with Donovan and Dempsey the attacking midfielders, Cherundolo and Bornstein the wide midfielders, Bradley and Jones the central midfiedlers and Jozy the target. Bornstein and Cherundolo are much better suited for the immense amount of running required of the wide men in a 3-man backline.

  15. That works, too. Start with Dolo or Lichaj and if you transition to a 4-4-2, bring in Goodson as a CB. That might even allow for more flexibility because you can bring on a LB like Bornstein or Pearce (or even Spector) and push Boca to the middle.

  16. I actually would like to see Edu closer to the goal and with less defensive responsibility. Leave jones and MB to do the work and let EDU get involved in the attack. Did you see that juke move against Inverness in his first game back?? he scores regularly for Rangers. Also, Goodsen would get burned as a fulback…but I like the 3-5-2 formation.

  17. Actually, it would depend on who you’re subbing off. Bradley is great for helping to kill off a game, so if you need more defense, you leave him in and put Benny on for someone, Holden, maybe. Bedoya’s a great sub for a tiring winger if you don’t want to change the formation.

  18. Did anyone watch this game? Did he look good playing as a fullback? I’m sure he didnt make any bombing runs, like Maicon for instance, forward.

  19. I like this lineup with two changes – 1) swap Jones and MB positionally. From from having seen both play in recent months, Jones is the quicker, better distributor. Also, with MB and Edu playing as twin d-mid, junior can still make his marauding runs. 2) pencil in Cherundolo for RB until someone has consistently better form and certainly don’t think Goodson fits as a full back in a 3-5-2.

  20. If Gooch shows well at LB then what’s wrong with our defenders gaining for versatility–especially when our best(in BB’s world) option at LB is Bornstein. It’s hard to imagine Gooch having enough speed to keep up with quality wingers, but I guess we’ll see. Wherever he’s deployed, it’s just good to see him playing again.

  21. It works if you expect Holden to track back like a RWB, but when it’s time for subs, who do you put on for him? Spector(though I must say, he has played well in center mid for West Ham)? Put Feilhaber on and put Bradley on the right?

  22. I don’t think Gooch should be a fullback, but him playing there reminds me: I’ve often wondered why we doesn’t toy with a 3-5-2 more often. We certainly have the glut of mids needed for it, and it would allow our best players on the field AND Clint to move up top where he has been playing a LOT for Fulham lately. Something like this:






    Of course, MB, Jones, and Edu would need to work on division of labor a little better than last time, but the flexibility this provides is nice. We go up a goal or two and need to hold on to the lead? Bring in Dolo or Lichaj and take off a mid to transition to a 4-4-2. We get behind and need a goal, bring off one of the CMs and bring on a striker to transition to a 4-3-3.

    We arguably played our best international game ever at the 2002 WC against Mexico in a 3-5-2 and I don’t think we’ve run it out since.

  23. Was he playing left back as part of a four-man back or three-man? If they were playing with only three defenders, it doesn’t seem that drastic to put Gooch on the outside.

  24. Good to see Gooch playing at a level where he can actually get on the field. The opponent was aweful but he got some live action so that’s a plus. We still don’t know if he will ever get back to the pre-injury level. Stay tuned.

  25. Gooch helped pitch a shutout, yeah as LB.

    So imho, USMNT’s LB problem is – finally – solved : )

    We got younger center d talent that can step into roles for 2014, seriously.

    A backline that has Gooch at LB has a seriouss intimidation factor, assuming hanging w Milan and Twente has improved his foot skills a bit.

    Ok so maybe it’s just as an emergency fill-in thing at Twente, but knowing Gooch can fill in at LB increases USMNT options.

  26. Good news all around. Hopefully the USMNT’s A-squad can get back in good form in time for the friendlies and the Gold Cup. I would hate to see Mexico in the Confeds Cup in 2013.

  27. It was really hard to judge his performance because Heracles was so bad.

    That being said, I thought his first half was quite good but somewhere around minute 65 his lack of playing time really started to show. His passing got sloppier, he lost his mark at least once allowing him to get a good shot on goal. I’d give him a 6 overall, which is a fine way to come back.

    We’ll really be able to judge him in about 6 weeks when he’s hopefully regained his match fitness and is playing CB against a better team. I can’t wait.

  28. FA Cup action: typical Arsenal first half-hour, should be up four goals, instead it’s only 1-0, and Leeds slowly gaining confidence….

  29. Greg Seltzer’s running commentary indicated there was an injury at the back for Twente so Gooch was slotted into LB. Encouraged by posts on this site and NSC that Gooch looked at home positionally and comfortable on the ball.

    Ditto to getting playing time and playing for a manager who knows Gooch and won a league title (maybe a couple?) with in Belgium.

  30. he actually looked pretty good given the circumstances. He got beat a couple times but recovered to stay with the man. I’m not advocating a position switch nor would i realistically consider him a starting LB for the US, but he looked as good as you could possibly expect given his situation

  31. Do you hope to see more or less of him playing fullback?



    Less without any hesitation.

    The man is built for CB and I couldn’t justify him playing anywhere other than CB for the national team, either.

    Glad to see him getting minutes under a manager that respects his ability, albeit, quite strangely placing him at LB.


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