MICHAEL ADUBATO - Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Standard Liege defender Oguchi Onyewu believes that Bob Bradley's experimental roster for Saturday's match was perfect preparation for the Gold Cup and that American fans can expect big things from the debutants in the future.
"[It] was a big day for the young guys, to get them introduced to the program and get them their first cap", the ex-Clemson Tiger told YA after the China game.
"I think Charlie Davies did really well and was involved in some good plays and Lee [Nguyen] had a few cool little dribbles when we were trying to kill out the game that let us get a little breather back there."
Davies, who is on the books at Hammarby IF in Sweden and Nguyen of PSV Eindhoven received their first call-ups to the national team, along with Kamani Hill of VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. The only MLS first-timer was CD Chivas midfielder Sacha Kljestan.
Onyewu had nothing but praise for all the new 'Nats, adding, "Sacha was involved in the game winning goal and Kamani made some good runs to open up some things for the other guys."
"All four of the new guys looked like they belonged out there."
The big central defender, currently in club soccer limbo after being released from his loan by Newcastle United, proclaimed that the US is ready to defend their Gold Cup crown, despite the easy victory over the lightly regarded Chinese.
"The most important thing was that the team got a good tune up before the Gold Cup competition. We're ready to go."
"I think overall we played well," Onyewu opined. "We didn't come out flat, we came out early and got a good goal with the penalty."
"We kinda let down after five minutes of the goal and allowed them to get back into the game [with an 18th minute equalizer], but we reacted well to get that second goal before halftime."
Putting his name on the score sheet however, Onyewu was ever humble as always, giving the credit to the squad.
"Of course it feels good to score a goal," the DC native smiled. "But it wasn't so important since we were already up 3-1."
"I was happy to contribute and I think the team did well to compete throughout the 90 minutes."
The USA take on Guatemala Thursday in Group B action at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles.