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Former USMNT defender Onyewu announces retirement


Former U.S. Men’s National Team defender Oguchi Onyewu announced his retirement from soccer via his Instagram on Monday.

“All good things must come to an end… Thank you. #Blessed #Honored #Proud #TheEnd,” the 36-year-old centerback said.

Onyewu was most well known among American soccer fans for his time with the USMNT. He earned 69 caps, including appearances in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. The defender scored six goals for the Stars and Stripes in his international career, and was voted the 2006 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year.

Onyewu was a dominant figure from 2005 to 2009, but struggled to recapture his best form after a major knee injury in the fall of 2009 while on national team duty.

Onyewu spent the majority of his professional career with Belgian club Standard Liège, where he made 139 appearances and helped lead the club to two league titles. He established himself as one of the best centerbacks in the Belgian First Division, earning  Best XI and Foreign Player of the Year honors.

Onyewu also spent time with La Louvière, Sporting CP, Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, and the Philadelphia Union, among others, during his 15-year career.


  1. we couldn’t have our european players for every usmnt match, but when we could have gooch, he brought a quiet confidence to the whole structure of our back line. he really was imposing, rock solid and as said before, awesome on “d”. enjoy the next stage in your career, gooch, whatever it may be.

  2. He was an awesome, feared defender. Still remember the night he messed up his knee. Initially, it looked like just a normal jump and landing with a fall, ’til you saw it slo-mo and, the way the knee buckled, it was obviously a serious knee issue, despite the lack of contact. Wish him all the best!!!

    • I think it was Wynalda who recognized right away that it was serious since it was non-contact. Wynalda had noticed that Gooch had been moving slower than usual before that. A real shame since I don’t think he ever fully regained his form after that.
      Still he was a valuable player for quite a while and US fans owe him our heartfelt thanks for being a warrior for game after game.

    • Worst 24-48 hours in USMNT history. Charlie Davies gets injured in a terrible car crash then Gooch buggered his knee at the end of the last game of the Hex when we had already qualified.


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