Player of the Week

Player of the Week: Amobi Okugo

Photo: Paul Rudderow

He should have been the hero.

Amobi Okugo’s later-than-late run—in the game; in the box—produced what should have been the winning goal on Thursday night, putting to the sword a sorry Chicago team interested in nothing more than frustrating the Union.

Rais Mbolhi’s epic howler put paid to that. From hard-earned euphoria to desolation in the span of moments, surely Okugo felt the loss of those two points more than anyone in the stadium. He confirmed as much, saying after the game that “[N]ext week in practice, some people are going to get hurt. I know that for a fact.”

And who could blame him for his feelings? The lone Union original left, Okugo has looked better and better as the season has progressed, finally playing in his preferred midfield role, only to get unceremoniously benched as soon as the games really started to matter. Ever the professional, Okugo made no complaints about his changed role and, with Ethan White’s injury opening up a spot again, has stepped back in and been the Union’s best player as injuries and a slump in form have ground the Union attack to a halt.

It was Okugo who did as his coach asked following the loss to DC, making late runs into the box to score important goals. It was Okugo who was there against Chicago, making last-ditch tackles and interceptions. It was Okugo literally winning the game by himself.

Until that howler took it away.

Circumstances may have taken that win away from Okugo and the Union. And Okugo’s time with the team may be nearing its end, as young starting-caliber players at the end of their contracts rarely stick around to be understudies. But he’s here now, and if the Union do somehow make it into the MLS playoffs, it will be on his back.

He should have been the hero, but he’s definitely PSP’s Player of the Week.


  1. Good one Jeremy. Be interesting to see how JC handles EW being healthy and ready to play which I imagine he will be this week.
    I love Okugo’s comments about someone getting hurt in practice. I see an absolute professional consistency to his play a hunger to improve and a willingness to lead. He deserves the armband next season if we are lucky enough to have him back. Lucky enough to have him back!
    I’ve written that it seems we are on the cusp of change with this team and if Okugo gets benched again and JC does not get the job and Okugo chooses to move on for whatever reasons that would have to get filed next to Reggie White leaving.

  2. Give him the job of striker with Le Toux up top. Seems to be the only guy on the team who can put a shot on frame.

  3. It’s hard to see us re-signing both Okugo and Edu. They really play the same position. Part of it will depend on who is interested in staying. If they both want to stay, Okugo will be the better deal salary-wise, that’s for sure.

    • I wish someone could sweet talk Edu into being a full time CB for us, but I think you’re right. It will come to the negotiating table as to who stays. What options do Edu and Okugo have? How much money will it take to sign each? How badly do they each want to be here (or not be here)?

  4. Makes no sense to sign Edu on a 1-yr DP loan, then let him go. So Okugo stays only after Mo says no? Doubt it. Both could leave. Another hole to fill.

  5. Let Danny Cruz take their spot.

  6. “We have tons of experience here. Can any other team say the second playmaker is called ‘Grandpa?’ “

  7. Player of the week… F that – No offense but please – Come on, that blows, …seriously? By the time Union Mgt realize what Amobi brings… he’ll be long gone..and his loss will totally suck big time.

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