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Gooch debuts in new position
by Paul Kennedy, January 19th, 2011 7:53PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, netherlands


[AMERICANS ABROAD] Oguchi Onyewu started his first competitive club game in 20 months, playing the entire match for Dutch champion FC Twente at left back in Wednesday's 5-0 win over Heracles.

Twente is coached by Belgian Michel Preud'homme, Onyewu's former coach at Standard Liege. Onyewu joined AC Milan from Standard Liege in 2009 but was sidelined most of the 2009-10 season with a knee injury and loaned to Twente from the second half of the 2010-11 Eredivisie season.

The only game he played for Milan was a brief appearance off the bench in a UEFA Champions League match.

Twente, which moved to within one point of leader PSV after 19 games with Wednesday's win thanks to four goals from Austrian  Marc Jenko, needed help in the back, where left back Nicky Kuiper was sidelined with an ACL tear to his left knee for the second time in less than a year and is now expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Twente usually plays with four in the back but often only uses three defenders against weak opposition such as Heracles.

Onyewu operated on the left side against Heracles and often drifted forward.

The rest of the Twente backline consists of Venezuelan Roberto Rosales, Brazilian Douglas and Dutchman Peter Wisgerhof.

The other addition to the Twente lineup was that of 18-year-old Liberian Ola John starting in place of injured Costa Rican Bryan Ruiz, one of the stars of Twente's 2009-10 championship campaign.

The move to Twente marks the third loan spell of Onyewu's career after stints at Belgium's La Louviere (on loan from French club Metz in 2004) and England's Newcastle (on loan from Standard in 2007).

2002/03  FC Metz (3-0)
2003/04  La Louviere  (24-1)
2004/05  Standard Liege (30-3)
2005/06  Standard Liege (29-2)
2006/07  Standard Liege (15-1)
2006/07  Newcastle United (11-0)
2007/08  Standard Liege (32-2)
2008/09  Standard Liege (32-3)
2009/10  AC Milan (0-0)
2010/11  AC Milan (0-0)
2010/11  FC Twente (1-0)
Totals: GP: 177, G: 12.

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