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Oguchi Onyewu linked with U.S. Soccer Sporting Director role

An interesting candidate emerges.

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The U.S. Soccer Federation’s sporting director position now has a reported candidate. Accoring to a report from Fox Sports’ Doug McIntyre, former USMNT player Oguchi Onyewu has emerged as a candidate for the job.

Onyewu had a career as a centerback that spanned 7 countries, culminating in his retirement in 2017 after a season with the Philadelphia Union. During his career, he appeared for the USMNT 69 times, including the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups. Since retiring from his playing career, Onyewu has served as a commentator for CBS. He also served as the Sporting Director for Orlando City B, the reserve team for the MLS side. He currently is the Secretary-General of R.E. Virton of the Belgian Second Division.

The Sporting Director position is vacant after Earnie Stewart decided to step away from the role and take a similar position with historic Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. It is not clear who else may be a potential candidate for the position.

It was earlier reported by the Athletic, and then confirmed by the Philadelphia Inquirer, that Ernst Tanner, current Philadelphia Union sporting director, was approached by Sportsology, the consulting firm hired by USSF to fill the position. Evidently, Tanner had been recommended by Earnie Stewart, who himself held the Sporting Director role at the Union before Tanner, However, Tanner evidently declined.

Sportsology apparently also reached out to Peter Vermes, the Head Coach and Technical Director of Sporting Kansas City. Vermes also declined the opportunity at the position, citing his impending contract renewal at SKC. Vermes went on to sign for a further 5 years at the club.

I was very direct with them — I told them I was almost finished with a new deal here (with Sporting), ... This is the project I’ve been interested in for a long time. I came in with the new ownership. I was given a blank canvas to build it out. This is always what I’ve wanted to be able to do. I consider myself incredibly fortunate. That’s why this project has always been important to me.

What do you think of the potential for Oguchi Onyewu as the sporting director for U.S. Soccer? What do you think he’ll bring to the position? Let’s talk in the comments section below.