The powerfully-built AC Milan defender is a mainstay in Bob Bradley's USA team.
The 27-year-old has the physique and strength to match any defender, though the occasional lapse in concentration has hindered his progress.
In December 2006, Onyewu was named US football Athlete of the Year, the first defender to earn the award since Alexi Lalas 11 years earlier.
Onyewu went straight from University football to joining French outfit Metz. He then joined Standard Liege before making the move permanent.
He tried his hand at Premier League football with Newcastle United but below-par displays meant the club failed to follow up their interest in his services.
Onyewu returned to Belgium and continued to impress with Standard before earning a surprise move to Italian giants AC Milan.