USMNT legend Oguchi Onyewu appears to have announced his retirement from the game.
The towering central defender posted a message on his Instagram page on Monday morning with the following caption: “All good things must come to an end…Thank you. ”
The message also featured a video which had photos of him playing and a song which suggested his career is over.
Onyewu, 36, has battled through injuries over the past few years and most recently played for the Philadelphia Union in MLS in 2017.
Before that Onyewu had spent the past 15 years playing in Europe, with stops in France, Belgium, England, Portugal, Holland, Spain and Italy. His previous clubs include AC Milan, Newcastle, Malaga and Sporting Lisbon, with his most successful spell coming at Standard Liege from 2004-09.
The former Clemson Tiger won 69 caps for the U.S. men’s national team, scoring six times as he featured in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and was voted as U.S. Soccer’s athlete of the year in 2006.
In recent times Onyewu had a string of stops at second-tier teams in England which saw him make just 19 appearances across three seasons, while he seemed to have been planning for retirement since leaving the Union in December 2017 as he opened a gym in Richmond, Virginia earlier this year.
A dominant force when in his prime Onyewu’s best moments for the U.S. include his performance against Spain in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup and his stare down of Jared Borgetti. While another memorable moment was his training ground spat with Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he was at Milan.
Philadelphia Union sporting director Earnie Stewart just signed a player who was nearly his USMNT teammate.
Oguchi Onyewu, 35, earned his first U.S. cap in October 2004, just five months after Stewart made the last of his 101 appearances for the national team.
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Now Stewart has signed Onyewu to the Union, where the center back will play his first domestic club matches since leaving Clemson in 2001.
“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,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He provides excellent depth at the centerback position and we are pleased that we were able to add him to our squad.”
Onyewu last played with Charlton in 2015, his 11th stop in Europe. He also played for Metz, La Louviere, Standard Liege, Newcastle United, AC Milan, Twente, Sporting CP, Malaga, Queens Park Rangers, and Sheffield Wednesday.
He’s made 69 appearances for the U.S., scoring six goals.
One hasn’t been in the league since 2013, while the other has never donned an MLS kit in the heat of game play.
Both are looking to make a roster for this season.
USMNT veterans Freddy Adu and Oguchi Onyewu are in training camp with clubs on opposite sides of the United States.
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Adu, 27, last played in MLS for the Philadelphia Union in 2013, and has since represented five teams. Most recently, Adu suited up for the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL. Now he’ll try to make the Portland Timbers.
Then there’s Onyewu, who’s as well-traveled as Adu but a bit older. The 34-year-old center back is in Philadelphia Union camp, looking for his first meaningful action since leaving Charlton Athletic in 2015.
Adu has 17 U.S. caps with two goals but hasn’t been capped since 2011, while Onyewu has six goals in 69 caps, the latest coming in 2014.
Could Oguchi Onyewu’s exhaustive list of clubs finally add a Major League Soccer side?
The out-of-contract USMNT veteran was with New York City FC for training on Tuesday, and could fill a big need for the new MLS side. Onyewu has been on the roster of a trio of English Championship clubs since 2014: Charlton Athletic, QPR and Sheffield Wednesday.
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The big center back left Clemson in 2002 and has not played for an American side since, moving from Metz to Standard Liege to AC Milan and Twente. All-in-all, he’s played for 11 clubs — four on loan — and only one for more than 30 matches (Liege).
But “Gooch to MLS” rumors are nothing new, and have yet to come to fruition. Could NYCFC have the glamour to bring the 33-year-old to Major League Soccer? Unless he’s out-of-shape — and the picture doesn’t tell us that — he could do a job as a center back in the States.
Big American defender Oguchi Onyewu has made only a pair of substitute appearances for Charlton Athletic since joining the club on Halloween, but he’s set to stay a bit longer.
The 32-year-old center back is extending his stay with the English Championship club through the end of the season after Addicks defender Michael Morrison makes his loan to Birmingham City a permanent move.
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Onyewu made his debut on Boxing Day as a substitute in Charlton’s 1-1 draw against Cardiff City. The Addicks are his fourth club since 2012. Since leaving Clemson in 2001, the 69-times capped Onyewu has been a permanent or loan member of:
– La Louviere
– Standard Liege
– Newcastle United
– AC Milan
– Sporting CP
– Sheffield Wednesday
– Charlton Athletic
Charlton is 11th in the Championship table, nine points back of the final playoff spot.