After having a trial with New York City FC in May, center back Oguchi Onyewu was seen practicing with the squad, indicating a possibility of Onyewu joining NYCFC in this transfer window.
Onyewu is a big body standing at 6’3, and is physical on the field and off of it, challenging the infamous Zlatan Ibrahimovic to a fight in training during his days at Milan.
After the trial, Jason Kreis seemed to like Onyewu and his game.
“[The trial] been interesting, he’s a really big body, and we’re looking to make some additions to the team in the summer. It’s a consideration.”
NYCFC recently signed a center back in Jefferson Mena, but are apparently still looking at other options to strengthen the backline. This could also be an indication of someone on the way out, namely Kwame Watson-Siriboe after his atrocious performance vs Toronto FC.
Another center back NYCFC has been linked with is Tefu Mashamaite. Onyewu is currently 32-years-old and may be a backup option for Mashamaite, as the South African is reportedly dealing with paperwork issues.
While Mashamaite is most definitely a better player, Onyewu is an American international, and therefore wouldn’t take up one of NYCFC’s coveted international spots.
Onyewu is a free agent, and therefore would be a free transfer.
A little bit about Onyewu…
Onyewu played college soccer at Clemson University for two years before making his way over to Europe. The American has been all over the place, starting his career in Ligue 2 (France), and later making stops at Sporting CP (Portugal), Milan (Italy) and Málaga (Spain).
Most recently, Onyewu has been in England with Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton Athletic. The total list of countries he has played in is: France, Belgium, England, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. He has never played in the MLS. Because of all this traveling, Onyewu speaks English, French, Italian and Portuguese and is a Belgian citizen. The Italian is key, as he will be able to speak with Andrea Pirlo.
Onyewu has also played extensively with the United States National team, totaling 69 appearances and 6 goals. In 2006, Onyewu was presented with U.S Soccer Athlete of the Year award. He played significant roles in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cup.
While Onyewu is past his prime, he provides a good fall back option if Mashamaite cannot secure the right papers to make the move over to NYCFC.