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Oguchi Onyewu training with the Philadelphia Union

Former USMNT defender with Union on opening day of training camp

Matt Ralph

Former AC Milan and United States National Team center back Oguchi Onyewu was on the field with the Philadelphia Union for their first day of training camp at the Power Training Complex in Chester.

“He’s just keeping his fitness up,” head coach Jim Curtin said after training. “He was sharp today, he looked good on the ball, organized things well. At this moment though it’s just simply a training stint.”

Onyewu, 34, last played with Charlton Athletic in the Championship in England in the 2014-15 season and has previously trained with the New York Cosmos. He made 69 appearances for the USMNT from 2004-2014 and has played for nine other clubs in England, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

The Washington D.C. native played college soccer for two years at Clemson before heading abroad and has never played professionally in the states. He represented the U.S. in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said “it’s going a bit too far” to say that Onyewu’s time with the team will lead to more, but didn’t completely rule out the possibility of him filling the team’s need for a veteran center back.

“Never say never,” Earnie Stewart said. “Obviously we are looking for an experienced center back and I guess it’s pretty easy that he fits that mold.”

Stewart said that Onyewu reached out to the team to request the training stint.

“He has a great history when it comes to soccer,” Stewart said. “I think it’s great for the young players around him, at the same time, to see his experience.”