The 33-year-old centre-back was snapped in training with the MLS expansion side on Tuesday afternoon, with Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl later reporting that head coach Jason Kreis has taken him on board for a two-week trial.
Having begun his professional career with French outfit Metz in 2002, Onyewu has never played in MLS but did train with hometown club D.C. United in the summer before eventually catching on with Charlton – his fourth spell in England following previous stints with Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday.
He made just three appearances during his time with the Addicks before his release, however, and it now looks like the time might have come for him to make a move to the States.
NYCFC could no doubt do with the 69-times capped defender’s veteran presence at the back, having been going through some serious struggles during their inaugural campaign.
The club sit bottom of the Eastern Conference after 12 games, with a record of one win, four draws and seven defeats, and are now on a 10-game winless streak following this weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake.
Frank Lampard’s impending arrival should help solve some of their problems but, with fellow star signing David Villa failing to produce to the levels expected thus far, coach Kreis will still have a hard time turning around results without additional reinforcements.
Centre-back in particular has been a big problem area, with Jason Hernandez, Chris Wingert and Kwame Watson-Siriboe all flattering to deceive, and Onyewu would offer some much-needed strength and leadership to the backline were he to be signed to a permanent deal.
The former AC Milan and Sporting Lisbon stopper would not have to go through the league’s allocation process and would instead be able to join the club via discovery claim.