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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 14:00 GMT
Onyewu is US player of the year
Oguchi Onyewu
Onyewu is US Soccer Federation's player of the year
Oguchi Onyewu, a defender of Nigerian descent, has been named US Soccer Player of the Year by the US Soccer Federation.

"It's an honour to be recognized as one of the elite athletes of US football," Onyewu said.

The 24-year-old son of Nigerian-born parents has played well for his club Standard Liege of Belgium this season.

Onyewu also had good performances against Czech striker Jan Koller and Italian Luca Toni during the World Cup.

Onyewu is the first defender to take the award since Alexei Lalas in 1995.

Kristine Lilly won the female equivalent of the honour for the third time for her role in the US women's squad, which will try to reclaim the Women's World Cup next year in China.



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