The U.S. Soccer Federation has named Oguchi Onyewu as the Vice President of Sporting. Onyewu, 40, brings a wealth of experience as a player and sporting executive with over 25 years in the game. The Olney native attended and played for Sherwood High School. During high school, he enrolled in the U.S. residency program for soccer in Bradenton, Florida before returning to Sherwood to graduate.
Per US Soccer: In this newly created role, the two-time World Cup veteran will work closely with U.S. Soccer’s Sporting Director Matt Crocker in supporting all sporting initiatives within the Federation. Reporting to Crocker, Onyewu will also play a prominent role in managing relationships with clubs and leagues in the United States and across the world, along with strengthening other stakeholder relationships.
One of Onyewu’s initial responsibilities will be to assist Crocker with the hiring of the next U.S. Men’s National Team head coach. With a wealth of international experience and a deep understanding of U.S. Soccer, Onyewu will be an instrumental part of the hiring process.
Onyewu will also work closely with U.S. Soccer’s Development Department to help drive increased funding for Youth and Extended National Teams. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, U.S. Soccer receives no federal government funding to manage its National Teams programs, support hundreds of thousands of coaches and referees, and impact millions of players.
“We are thrilled to welcome Oguchi Onyewu to our team at U.S. Soccer,” said Crocker. “His experience as a player and sports executive, coupled with his deep understanding of U.S. Soccer, Oguchi will be invaluable as we continue to strengthen our sporting initiatives. We all look forward to working closely with him.” Onyewu is a former member of U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, having been elected to the Athletes Council and serving since 2021 before stepping down this past week to take this position at U.S. Soccer.
“I am incredibly excited to take on this new challenge and work with Matt and the rest of the U.S. Soccer team to help shape the future of soccer in this country,” said Onyewu. “As a former player, I understand firsthand the importance of investing in our youth and building a strong foundation for the future. I look forward to working with the Men’s and Women’s Senior Teams, Youth National Teams and Extended National Teams to help support and grow our talented pool of players and identify and develop the next generation.”
A veteran of the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, Onyewu earned 69 caps for the United States in a 10-year international career, during which he was voted the 2006 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year. He was a three-time winner of the Concacaf Gold Cup (2005, 2007, 2013), and was voted to the tournament’s Best XI in 2005.
Having participated in the inaugural class of the U-17 Residency Program in 1999 in Bradenton, Fla., Onyewu represented the U.S. in their fourth-place finish at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship.
During his playing career, Onyewu gained a variety of experiences having played for clubs in the top professional leagues in seven different countries including the English Premier League. He was voted “Best Foreign Player” in Belgium between 2003-05. He won back-to-back league championships in Belgium with Standard Liege in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and captured the domestic cups in Belgium with La Louvière in 2002 and the Netherlands in 2010-11 with FC Twente. He spent 18 months at Italian powerhouse club AC Milan where he appeared in the UEFA Champions League.
Following his playing career, Onyewu became the Sporting Director for Orlando City B in 2018. Two years later, he was appointed Secretary General of Belgian club Royal Excelsior Virton. Holder of a U.S. Soccer ‘B’ coaching license, Onyewu currently provides analysis and commentary for CBS Sports.
In addition to his work in soccer, he was also the president and founder of G.O. Global, a non-profit organization that empowered young people through the promotion of health, fitness, and wellness in their daily lives.
A native of Olney, Md., he holds citizenship in the United States, Nigeria and Belgium. He speaks three languages and attended Clemson University, where he received his dual bachelor’s degree in Language (French) and International Business. Featured photo courtesy of @oguchionyewu5 on Instagram.