BRENT LATHAM - Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The United States paid handsomely for the last gasp tie secured Wednesday night at RFK, as central defender Oguchi Onyewu damaged ligaments in his knee and will be out of action three to four months.

The large defender injured himself when his left leg slipped on the wet turf as he went up for a ball in the Costa Rican area. Onyewu immediately plunged to the ground and called for assistance. He was stretchered off the field and the US was forced to finish the match, which they tied in the last minute of extra time, with ten men.

The diagnosis confirmed by US Soccer after the match was a torn left patellar tendon. The prognosis for recovery from such an injury is at least three months.

If Gooch recovers on schedule and without complications, he would return to action sometime in the spring, perhaps by February or early March, which in theory would give the defender ample time to regain game fitness before the World Cup, which begins in early June.

The AC Milan defender has appeared only occasionally for the Serie A club, and his status in the face of a pending personnel sweep at San Siro will not be helped by this injury, which threatens to rob him of the bulk of the club season.