Former United States World Cup defender Oguchi Onyewu is a candidate to fill the vacant US Soccer sporting director position, multiple sources told FOX Sports.
Onyewu, 40, was most recently the general secretary of Belgian second tier club Royal Excelsior Virton. He left in November after 16 months in the post. The USSF has been without a sporting director since Earnie Stewart took a similar position with Dutch power PSV Eindhoven last month. Stewart, who oversaw the world champion men’s and women’s national teams as well as the federation’s youth national teams, had held the role since 2019.
Reached by phone on Monday, Onyewu would neither confirm nor deny that he is running for office. A U.S. Soccer spokesperson told FOX Sports that the federation would not comment on any individual candidates while the search for Stewart’s replacement is ongoing.
Whoever becomes the country’s next sporting director will be tasked with selecting the USMNT coach who will lead the Americans through the all-important 2026 FIFA World Cup that will be co-hosted by the USA, Canada and Mexico During a news conference announcing Stewart’s departure in late January, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone said the federation wants to have its new athletic director in place by the latest ‘start of the Women’s World Cup in July, although a date could come much earlier. this The USSF has hired New York-based consulting firm Sportsology to lead its research.
Last month, Sportsology was approached and turned down by Philadelphia Union athletic director Ernst Tanner, according to a report in The Athletic. Ditto for Sporting Kansas City coach and sporting director Peter Vermes, former USMNT captain. Vermes told the Kansas City Star that Sportsology asked him to interview with US Soccer; Vermes, on the other hand, signed a five-year contract extension with SKC.
Onyewu made 69 appearances for the USMNT between 2004 and 2014 and started games at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups. His 15-year professional club career took him through the top divisions of Belgium, England , France, Holland, Portugal and Spain and included stints with top European teams such as AC Milan, Sporting Lisbon and Newcastle United. In addition to English, Onyewu is fluent in French, Italian and Portuguese.
After spending just one season in Major League Soccer, he retired as a member of the Union in 2017. Onyewu then became the sporting director of Orlando City B, the lower division development team of the MLS club. The Washington, DC native also returned to Clemson University, where he played college football before turning pro. obtain a double degree in French and international business in 2020.
Onyewu currently works as a studio analyst for CBS Sports.
Doug McIntyre is a football writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports and has covered the US men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @By Doug McIntyre.
UNITED STATES MEN trend
Get more from the United States Follow your favorites for information on games, news and more