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Free agent centerback Oguchi Onyewu training with NYCFC

Oguchi Onyewu NYCFC Training



Oguchi Onyewu may have been spotted at Red Bull Arena this past weekend, but it is not the New York Red Bulls that he is currently spending time with.

New York City FC revealed via its Twitter on Tuesday that Onyewu is training with the club. NYCFC did not make it known if it has intentions to sign the veteran centerback, but could given his status as a free agent and the fact that he isn’t subject to MLS’s allocation order. NYCFC would, however, need to have the top discovery claim on Onyewu in order to sign him.

Onyewu, who turned 33 earlier this month, most recently played for Charlton Athletic. He signed with the English club last fall, but Charlton decided not to bring him back after using him just three times during his seven months there.

Centerback is a position of need for struggling NYCFC, which has not won in its last 10 matches and sits in last place in the Eastern Conference. Jason Hernandez, Chris Wingert and Kwame Watson-Siriboe have taken turns handling much of the responsibilities at the heart of the club’s defense, but the performances and results have been mixed so far.

Onyewu, who has previously been linked with a move to MLS, could use some stability after bouncing around Europe in recent years. The former U.S. Men’s National Team stalwart has played for seven clubs since moving to AC Milan in 2009.

Onyewu was seen at Red Bull Arena this past Sunday, taking in the Red Bulls’ 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union as a spectator.


What do you think of Onyewu training with NYCFC? Would it be a good move for the club to sign him? How do you think he would fare in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.


      • Gooch was signed by AC Milan because he was one of the best aerial defenders in the world. He hasn’t lost those abilities. Sure, the ’09 injury slowed him down, but afterwards he still was able to play at mid-tier European clubs, places where Gonzalez would not even get a look. Gonzalez is incredibly flat-footed and does not have the brain that Gooch does.

      • I hate to keep arguing with the president of the Gooch fan club, but 2009 was six years ago and Gooch suffered a serious injury since then and hasn’t been the same. When he’s been healthy he’s barely played. Sure, he’s cashed paychecks from some good clubs but we are talking about performance on the field. Sure, Gooch pre-2009 was better than Gonzalez is now but that’s not the guy we are talking about in 2015. Charlton Athletic is not much better than an MLS team, if at all. And Gooch couldn’t get a game there last season.

      • Except that since that injury he has played for teams that would not even consider Gonzalez, who would not get a game in at Charlton either (Gooch played in three, btw, and they extended his contract to the end of this season). Gooch lost some mobility after the injury, but he was never that mobile to begin with, which is why quality European sides continued to seek him out. Gooch is smarter, has a better touch, and is better in the air than Gonzalez, who isn’t much of an athlete himself.

      • OMG Charlton Athletic is would be one of the biggest clubs in MLS. They had a poor season but their traditionally a yo-yo club with lots of history.

        Gooch saw time with each club after leaving Milan, so again, this is all horse sh*t your speaking

  1. He’s going to be a solid player and every hater on this site is going to shut their mouths real quick

    • Gooch would be an unmitigated disaster. He hasn’t played for 6 years. He wasn’t even good the year prior – 7 years ago. You have to go back 8 years to where he had any consistency of good form. Look, good on him if he can milk his career longer, who wouldn’t? But he’s not going to be good out there and that’s if he even plays.

      • We shall see if he signs.

        My money is that he’s able bodied enough. Even if he’s lost his pace, he’s matured enough to respond with better positioning and field intelligence.

        I caught a few games online when he was at Wednesday and he looked mobile enough.

      • I hope he signs as well. Gooch could anchor NYCFC’s abysmal backline — it was only two years ago he played in a handful of Malaga’s(a very good side mind you) games & a year prior to that he saw time at Sporting.

        Would be a very welcome addition to MLS.

      • In recent years he got significant PT at Twente, Lisbon, and Malaga. How many American CB’s in history could have played for those teams? Not many.

      • He played 8 games for Twente and 2 games for Malaga in the league. He got semi-regular time for Sporting Lisbon 3 years ago. I just don’t see how he’s a good signing for an MLS team. There are plenty of other center backs around the world these teams could sign who are younger and healthier than Gooch.

      • Actually, I think there literally hundreds, if not thousands, of better center backs in the world right now. And I would bet some of them would be happy to sign with MLS.

      • He was cult hero at his time with Sporting Lisbon. He was invaluable across the back line for Twente and He played a huge part in Malaga’s league cup run, while they were balancing their league and Champions League games.

        Stop exacerbating things to prove a point moron.

    • i feel your enthusiasm but to me he’s got a low ceiling/low floor quality; that, coupled with the USMNT accolade, could help him be a short term fix to their lineup and fan base. So he may not, perhaps, make “every hater on this site… shut their mouths real quick”. But he most likely wouldn’t be a terrible singing; perhaps not an all star, but not terrible.

      • And I think a lot of team’s could live with “Not an All-Star, but not terrible”, which I agree would probably be where he’d lie.

        Teams that play a 4-4-2 or 4-1-4-1 could use and maximize on whatever he has left to offer.

        Maybe not the Portland Timber’s or FC Dallas’ of MLS, but teams that sit back and play more direct I think he’d be a hell of a player for.

    • I have no idea if he will be good or terrible, but if any team should roll the dice on him, it should be NYCFC. A veteran CB with strong leadership qualities and international credentials could do a lot for this team. And if it turns out he’s busted, well…. it’s a lot less money than they’ve wasted on Villa.

  2. I am far from a Gooch cheerleader but if he has some form he could be a good pickup for NYCFC or any MLS team. MLS is a physical league and he’s got that covered and he’s tall too. Olave is a good comparison to Gooch in his better condition and if he can pull that off then why not take a chance on him. Good for him, I hope it works out.

  3. I don’t know what all negativity is about Onyewu has played at a higher level and has more experience than most centerbacks in the League. To have him in camp to pass on knowledge to a young core of defenders alone is worth it. Other players his age still doing well:
    Jámison Olave is 34 years old
    Chad Marshall is 30
    Victor Bernardez is 33
    Clarence Goodson is 33
    DaMarcus Beasley is 33 (and still good enough to rep the stars and stripes)
    Brad Davis is 33 (impact player for Houston)
    Jermaine Jones is 33 (and our best midfielder)
    Ricardo Clark is 32 (Yes and he has been solid for Houston)
    All these guys, just to name a few, are playing at a high level (MLS standards and going the distance) so if Gooch CAN make the cut why not

    • Ok but how many of those guys have been injured and/or not playing for nearly all of the last six years? It’s not that a 33 year old can’t play in MLS, it’s that a 33 year old who’s barely played and has a lengthy injury history may not be the most helpful signing for an MLS team.

  4. Having not seen him play in a while, tough to say with any confidence, but I think at the right salary and with appropriate expectations, the guy could be a nice signing for NYCFC. I always liked Gooch, so it’d be great to see him in MLS playing well.

  5. Someone explain to me again — why do NYCFC need to have the “top discovery claim”? Gooch is a free agent. He was “discovered” many years ago.

      • Does the same thing happen with every player who comes into the league? For example, did RBNY have to occupy some sort of top slot before they signed Lloyd Sam? Damien Perrinelle? Bradley Wright-Phillips?

      • No, there’s a list of guys subject to allocation. To be honest, even though I follow this league more closely than 99.9% of people (as do many others on this site) I still have no idea how player acquisitions work.

      • Thanks for the link. Clicked to understand discovery process…..

        in short it seems like a way for teams that may not have ambition or attractiveness to sign free agents to pick up $50K in Garber bucks, or for teams to legitimately make an early claim for an obscure player in the off chance they will want to sign with the league, and be good enough that no other team already had him on their list.

        A bunch of silliness really.

      • So Gooch has to be on NYCFC’s discovery list, and not on anybody else’s. Are these lists secret? If Team A has some interest in Player, and Team B hears a rumor about it, can Team B just move quickly to put Player on its list? It’s all just so bizarre.

      • It’s kind of like mwedical bills from you insurance company. They say insurance covers A and B, but not C, or it covers part of D and you have to pay the rest along with C. Then you try to figure out if you’ve met your deductible or not and does OOP (out of pocket) get included in deductible or not. And you call them up and they “explain” it. And in the end, you just accept it cause you have no way of knowing if it’s right or not and you strongly suspect they are just making up some of it as it goes along. I think that’s about how MLS rules work.

      • Even though so many spend so much time whining about MLS, if you operate like me, assuming that when 1 team does something, the other 19 will whine for you if it is unfair, it is a much easier life.

        For instance, if Chicago really go screwed in the Jones lottery, wouldn’t they and the rest of the league be up in arms? Or did they all WANT New England to be the best team in the league?

        If everyone felt like NYC shouldn’t have the top claim, they would say something.

        Just my obnoxious $0.02 worth.

      • Your comment asumes that the other 19 teams have some right to complain, or some interest in upsetting the apple cart. But the teams — or, more precisely, the owners — put these rules in for a purpose: to minimize competition and protect their investments. They know full well that the rules will result in bizarre situations that no “outsider” will be able to understand fully. And they don’t care. You’ll get the occasional squawk from Arena and a few others, but the folks that run the league clearly value stability, control, and predictability much more highly than transparency or true competition.

      • Exactly. And since the players voted to approve the absolutely pathetic CBA, they have no one to blame but themselves.

      • And since we fans have no vote and no say in the matter, we are forced to accept this alternate reality until and unless the owners decide to take the training wheels off.

    • This is false. Free agent or not, it shouldnt matter. A USMNT player should go through allocation. There have been a few shady exceptions, but in general thats the rule.

      • I would say anyone who makes a US World Cup roster should have to go through Allocation for the rest of their career.

        It’d apply to what, 35 total players now (Combining 06,10&14 and factoring in retirees & repeats), most of who are already in MLS. And they are your most well known American players.

      • To answer your question, his last cap was a little over a year ago, when he and Brooks put together an Abbott and Costello act in central defense vs. Ukraine.

    • Well, seeing as he’s made 48 total appearances in the last six seasons, the literal answer is pretty close to “no”.

      • Which is why all the comments that I’m sure are coming about what a great idea/horrible idea it is are going to be so amusing.

      • How good can he be if he’s barely been on the field since 2009? Sure, pre-injury he was a good player but that was a long time ago.

      • well he was a regular for sheffield wed in the championship when joined in 14′ and if i recall correctly they tried to keep him but could not come to an agreement

    • When he was at Malaga a couple of years ago I saw him play in two CL group games and he was okay in one and excellent in the other. He was even singled out by the English announcers for his good play in one of the games. He had the misfortune of playing behind DiMichaelis (now with Man City) and the Malaga team captain. But, then, the next time I saw him was in a friendly for the US and he looked pretty bad. Don’t know if anyone outside of England and the USMNT staff have seen him in the Championship.


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