Oguchi Onyewu's USMNT March Roster Inclusion Allows For Possible 2014 World Cup Call-Up

By Phil Naegely
Oguchi Onyewu USMNT-Ukraine Friendly
Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, Jurgen Klinsmann and the US Men’s National Team announced the 24-man roster for the March 5 friendly against Ukraine. This comes ahead of their training camp in Germany, preparing for the aforementioned friendly. For USMNT defender Oguchi Onyewu, his 68th cap will be critical to earning Klinsmann’s blessing and making the 2014 World Cup roster.

The time spent in Germany and expected playing time will allow Klinsmann to see how Onyewu’s play matches up with other fringe players. After injuring his calf a few weeks back, it looked like Onyewu’s 2014 World Cup chances were dim, but the call-up shows USMNT fans otherwise.

The last time time Onyweu saw playing time with USMNT was during the 2013 Gold Cup. After sustaining a calf injury a few weeks ago, it looked like he would miss the Ukraine friendly. However, it would seem like his calf has healed enough, but this is something to watch as the USMNT travels to Germany.

In order to make the USMNT roster that heads to Brazil, Onyweu will need to be lights out against Ukraine. Additionally, he will have no excuses if he does not make June’s call-up, because he most definitely will be in Klinsmann’s starting XI against Ukraine. If he plays to his potential and shows flashes of brilliance, then expect Klinsmann to call upon his services for Brazil.

Should Onyewu make the roster for Brazil, where would he fit in? Well, it would be hard to see him start in front of proven players like Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Matthew Besler, DaMarcus Besley and Michael Parkhurst. Therefore, it would take a number of injuries to key defenders to see Onyewu find significant time in Brazil.

All in all, Onyewu’s inclusion on the USMNT ahead of their Ukraine friendly offers a chance at the Brazil roster. While the chance is not the best, the opportunity is there and he will have to seize the moment if he is to don a USMNT roster spot come the 2014 World Cup.

Stay tuned to Rant Sports for more analysis ahead of both Ukraine friendly on March 5 and the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

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