A combative but versatile defender or midfielder Oughton is considered a valuable member of Ricki Herbert's squad even if national team appearances in the last 12 months have been at a premium. Oughton featured in ten of New Zealand's 11 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers since he made his national team debut in 2002. However that run was halted when he failed to take the pitch in either of New Zealand’s playoff matches against Bahrain.
That aside the experienced Oughton only missed New Zealand's final Oceania zone qualifier when a largely second-string team took the park with qualification secured. Due to turn 33 the day prior to New Zealand’s opener against Slovakia, Oughton’s prominence in the Kiwi squad has slowly waned in the past 18 months despite his continuing club form. Oughton came off the bench against South Africa in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 and started only a pre-tournament friendly against Botswana.
Like a number of New Zealand footballers Oughton has made a career in USA following a spell in the College circuit. Oughton has now played eight seasons with the Columbus Crew and is the club's longest serving player having played well over 100 matches, and the tally would be far higher but for 18 months absence with serious knee injuries.
Oughton has captained his club on numerous occasions and has now been in the United States for such a long period he is no longer classified as an international player by the MLS. Oughton continued to be a regular member of the Columbus first-team throughout the opening stages of the 2010 MLS campaign.