Colorado Rapids defender Shane O'Neill named to the U.S. squad for FIFA Under-20 World Cup

Boulder’s O’Neill and U.S. open World Cup against Spain in Turkey on June 21, live on ESPN2

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Friday, June 7, 2013) – Colorado Rapids defender Shane O’Neill has been named to the United States Under-20 National Team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, which takes place in Turkey from June 21 to July 13. O’Neill, a 19-year-old central defender from Boulder, was a key part of the U.S. U-20’s in qualifying for the World Cup, and has played 10 of the Rapids’ 14 matches in 2013.

“It is a great accomplishment for Shane to make the U.S. U-20’s for the World Cup, and everyone at the Rapids is proud of his achievement,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “Shane’s hard work and excellent performances with our first team throughout the season led him to this point, and we also want to give credit to all the Rapids coaches who have worked with him over the last several years. We’re all looking forward to seeing him and the U.S. in action later this month.”

READ: Pro experience allows O'Neill to join U.S. U-20 with new mentality and confidence

O’Neill, a Rapids Homegrown Player, was a key player in the 2012 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, starting all five games of the tournament where the United States finished second and qualified for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The 19-year-old has played 10 matches for the Rapids this season in central defense, and in the eight matches that O’Neill has started, Colorado is 4-0-4 and has conceded just six goals.

Rapids midfielder Dillon Serna, from Brighton, was with the U.S. U-20’s for their recent tournament in France and is on the 35-player provisional roster for the World Cup, and could be added to the final squad as a replacement up to 24 hours before the tournament begins.

The U.S. U-20’s were drawn into a difficult group for the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The U.S. opens Group A play against Spain on Friday, June 21, at Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul. The match will be broadcast at 1:45 p.m. ET, live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN. That is followed by a June 24 game against France in Istanbul, live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN at 10:45 a.m. ET. The U.S. closes out group play with a June 27 match against Ghana at Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri, Turkey, at 12:45 p.m. ET, live on ESPNU and WatchESPN.

United States Roster for FIFA Under-20 World Cup (by Position):

GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), 12-Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), 21-Zach Steffen (FC DELCO; Downington, Pa.)

DEFENDERS (7): 13-Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), 5-Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), 18-Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 4-Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), 14-Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.)

MIDFIELDERS (5): 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), 10-Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), 8-Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), 15-Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)

FORWARDS (6): 20-Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), 17-Danny Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), 7-Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 19-Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), 9-Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), 11-Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)

After a week off from MLS action, the Rapids first team returns to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, June 15 to take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 7:00 p.m. For more information on the match, or to purchase tickets, visit www.ColoradoRapids.com/tickets or call 303-825-GOAL. Special Rapids ticket deals and contests can be found at http://www.ColoradoRapids.com/promotions.