Team Standard Liege (Belgium) Position Defender Number 5 Height 6' 3" Weight 205 lbs. Age 24 Born May 13, 1982 Birthplace Washington, D.C. International Caps 17 International Goals 1
Oguchi Onyewu began his professional career in 2002 after signing with French side FC Metz, who had been tracking his progress at Clemson University.
Metz originally wanted to sign the defender following a trial in August 2001, but with Onyewu desiring to complete at least his second term at Clemson, he delayed the signing until March 2002.
It wasn't until a full 15 months later that he was able to suit up for the side, due to the team having gone into administration, and not being given clearance by the French Professional League. He finally made his debut in January 2003 in a 1-0 French League Cup win over Bordeaux.
Following a coaching change at Metz, Onyewu soon found himself out of the teams plans and he was loaned to Belgian side La Louvière at the end of the 2002/03 season.
It was there that Onyewu finally established himself as a regular player, starting 24 matches and scoring 1 goal from his central defensive position. He was named player of the week in February 2004.
Despite wishing to keep the youngster, La Louvière had to return Onyewu back to Metz following the season, where he was still considered surplus to the side's needs.
He was again shipped off to Belgium, this time to Standard Liege who had just come off an impressive third place showing in the league, guaranteeing the side a lucrative place in the UEFA Cup. In mid October 2004, Liege exercised their option and acquired the defender on a permanent basis.
"Gooch" immediately claimed the starting role, and has continued to win plaudits from around the league, the Belgian press tabbing the 6'3" Onyewu as one of the best central defenders in the country.
During his stay at Liege, he has played in 74 games, of which 73 were starts, and has scored seven goals. He has also gone into the ref's book a total of 17 times - 14 yellow and three red.
In summer 2006, several English club courted the defender, although nothing has yet come of the rumors. A move to Middlesbrough broke down in late June.
Onyewu made his first international appearance with the US U-17 side on Valentine's Day 1998 against CONCACAF foe Guatemala, and soon after found himself being invited to the inaugural US Residency class at Bradenton, Florida in 1999.
Joining DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey and Landon Donovan, Onyewu was a star performer, scoring 2 goals in 4 appearances in the US' fabled run in the '99 FIFA U-17 World Championship in New Zealand, where the side finished fourth.
Onyewu has also made numerous appearances at the U-20 and U-23 level, including all 4 matches in the FIFA U-20 World Youth Championships in 2001, where he first garnered the attention of his eventual club FC Metz.
He made his first appearance with Bruce Arena's National Team on October 13, 2004 coming on as a late sub in the 6-0 World Cup Qualifiying victory over Panama.
Onyewu was an All-Gold Cup selection as the US reclaimed the CONCACAF crown in 2005. He scored his first international goal in dramatic fashion, nodding home the extra time winner in the semifinal against Honduras.
He played seven games as the US swept through World Cup 2006 qualifying and was a stalwart in defense as the US failed to make it out of the group stages in the finals in Germany.
Oguchialu Chilioke "Oguchi" Onyewu (born May 13, 1982 in Washington, D.C.) is an American soccer defender, who curently plays for STANDARD LIEGE and has offers from Fulham London and AC Milan.
Onyewu's parents moved to the United States from Nigeria to attend Howard University in Washington, D.C. Onyewu has two brothers, Uche and Nonye, and two sisters, Chi-Chi and Ogechi. Growing up in Silver Spring and later Olney, Maryland, Onyewu attended Sherwood High School where he played soccer for two years.  He then enrolled in the U.S. residency program in Bradenton, Florida, before returning to Sherwood to graduate.
Onyewu then played two years of college soccer at Clemson University, and moved to Europe in 2002, signing with FC Metz of France's Ligue 1. In 2003, he was loaned out to La Louvière in Belgium, and to Standard Liège a year later. The move to Liège was made permanent for the 2004-05 season.
Onyewu, often referred to by the nickname "Gooch," is, at 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg), believed to be the tallest field player in US team history, though two goalkeepers were taller, according to U.S. Soccer. 
Onyewu has been part of various U.S. youth teams, and played at the 2001 World Youth Championship. He made his first appearance for the senior national team on October 13, 2004 against Panama.
"Gooch" is remembered for losing his mark and allowing a goal to Jared Borgetti of Mexico in Azteca Stadium on March 27, 2005, only to redeem himself by dominating Borgetti in a rematch between the teams on September 3, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio. Onyewu scored his first international goal in dramatic fashion, nodding home the extra time winner in the semifinal of the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Honduras. The powerful six-foot-four defender was later named to the tournament Best XI. He has also been named to the Belgian league Best XI twice and was named Foreign Player of the Year in 2005. Oguchi played for the USA in the World Cup 2006 held in Germany.
Onyewu has long been the subject of transfer rumors throughout Europe.
On December 26, 2006, Onyewu was voted U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year, mainly because of his strong performance earlier that year at the World Cup. He was the first defender to earn the award since Alexi Lalas in 1995.