MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, June 18, 2010
Central defender Oguchi Onyewu is looking forward to the American's second game of the group stages and is going into it in a positive frame of mind.
There had been speculations prior to the World Cup that the AC Milan player may not start the England game and then not be able to complete 90 minutes after having been out with injury for so long.
"It felt good to get the naysayers off my back, at least for one game," the 6'4" stalwart in the American defense stated. "It's a good feeling (to have completed the game)."
It seems that Onyewu has convinced the American fans and media that although he had not played a competitive game since his injury on international duty against Costa Rica last October, where he suffered a patellar tendon rupture, that he was fit and back at his best.
Regarding the Slovenian game and his ability to again play for the duration, the confident American stated, "I'll go 90 minutes as much as you want me to go 90 minutes!"
"I've been working on my fitness and felt during the (England) game that I was only getting stronger."
Although a point against England, one of the teams considered to have a chance at going all the way in the World Cup, was respectable, Onyewu knows that more is needed today against a good Slovenian team as he gave his assessment.
"I think they're a good team. In qualifying for the World Cup they allowed few, if any goals. Their defense is pretty compact and strong and right now they're on top of the group, so it's going to be a very important game. I think as a team they feel that they're in a good position. For us, we have to put the England game behind us and focus on them and getting a better result (this time)."
The D.C. native put the importance of the game in a nutshell.
"The game against Slovenia is going to determine whether we get out of the group or not. It's a must win situation for us."