Not far removed from his first start for new club Sporting CP, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu now has his first goal for the team. The big defender rose up above the crowd to head home a corner kick in the 74th minute of Sporting's 3-2 road win against Rio Ave in the Portuguese Liga Sagres.
Sporting had been leading 2-0, but the hosts fought back to tie the game before Onyewu scored the eventual winner.
Onyewu's goal came in his third straight start and sixth appearance overall in the Sporting first team. With the team qualifying for the Europa League group stage, the defender is likely to see more playing time as Sporting looks to negotiate multiple competitions.
The goal and continued regular playing time could also put him on the radar of U.S. men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The German coach has not called up Onyewu, who has six goals and 60 caps for the United States, since his appointment at the end of July.
Onyewu was called up by previous coach Bob Bradley for the U.S. team in the 2011 Gold Cup that eventually lost the final to Mexico, but did not feature in the tournament due to lingering questions over form and fitness. His most recent appearance for the U.S. was in a Gold Cup tuneup game, a 4-0 loss to Spain on June 4.