Oguchi Onyweu - Philadelphia Union - running

Oguchi Onyewu collected 69 senior US men's national team caps over the course of a decade from 2004-2014 during his long and winding 15-year playing career that ended in 2018. So, when he was asked by host Herculez Gomez in an interview on ESPN FC on Thursday about his thoughts on the current player pool at the disposal of USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, Onyewu's analysis is worth considering. 


To hear Onyewu tell it, in terms of raw talent, the current USMNT pool has just as much, if not more, than in any previous eras under Bruce Arena, Jurgen Klinsmann and Bob Bradley. The difference, he said, is that the current crop is largely a youthful bunch, still in search of a clear and cohesive identity that previous iterations of the team possessed.


"Very promising," Onyewu said of the current pool. "I would say that because of the progression and the growth of the modern player, I think individually all these players are potentially better than all of the other individual players from previous years. I would say what they lack is the collective ability that former national teams had. They don't have that identity, they don't have that cohesiveness as a team. But if you take each each individual player you'd be like, 'Oh wow, this player is playing here, this guy is playing here.' They're there. They have the technical ability. So now how do you take individuals and make it a unit? That's going to be their main challenge."


Check out a full segment from Gomez's interview with Onyewu that includes more of his thoughts on the past and future of the USMNT below.