Everyone loves big Gooch, but this one's gonna sting ...

Oguchi Onyewu, here against Slovenia's Zlatan Ljubijankic

PRETORIA, South Africa -- Everybody loves Oguchi Onyewu. We love him because he is the very physical embodiment of everything we want our soccer to be: a big ol’ bad ass, one that doesn’t take crap from anyone.


The love affair started back in 2005, when he made Mexican striker Jared Borgetti his, uh, [insert bad word for female doggie here] in that Columbus qualifier against Mexico. We saw that "I'm a bad man!" stare-down of Borgetti, and that was it. We had a hero.   

 

But, uh, there’s a little problem. And it’s a real noggin scratcher.

 

I just don’t think the big fellow is up for the job here in South Africa. His paw prints are all over all three goals the Americans have allowed here.

 

But wait! There’s more! There’s a second part to this puzzler: at this point it’s probably too late, and there’s probably more danger in replacing Onyewu than in keeping him out there. You can read more about that here – but if you’re a Gooch fan, I warn you, it ain’t gonna be easy.

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