COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Monday, October 1, 2012) – Colorado Rapids midfielder and Homegrown Player Shane O’Neill has been named to the United States Under-20 National Team by head coach Tab Ramos for the upcoming 2012 Marbella Cup in Marbella, Spain. O’Neill, of Boulder, will be with the U.S. from October 6-17 for friendly matches against Canada, Scotland, and Azerbaijan.
“Shane has continued to develop a great deal since he signed with us in June, and we’re excited for him to get a chance with the U.S. U-20’s,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “His hard work and dedication are a testament to what young players in our system can achieve, and we wish both him and the U.S. the best of luck in Spain.”
This is O’Neill’s first call-up to a United States National Team, and is one of just two on the 19-player roster joining the group for the first time. O’Neill, who was born in Ireland but moved to the United States when he was one year old, played in the Rapids youth system before signing for the professional club in June. He made his MLS debut in the Rapids’ 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers on September 5.
O’Neill is the third Rapids player to earn a call-up to the U.S. U-20’s this year, joining Rapids Academy players Dillon Serna and James Rogers. Serna, a freshman at Akron University, played in all three of the U.S. matches at the Northern Ireland Milk Cup in July, and Rogers, a sophomore at the University of New Mexico, was part of camps in April and May, as well as playing in a friendly against Uruguay in Montevideo in June.
The U.S. U-20 roster includes a variety of domestically based players along with several playing professionally in Mexico and Europe. In total, 10 of the 19 players on the roster are based in the U.S., while three come from club teams in Mexico and six players will make the short trek from their European clubs to the competition in Spain.
The U.S. is scheduled to face Canada at 5:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. MT) on Wednesday, October 10 in the team’s first match. On Friday, October 12, the U.S. squares off against Scotland at 3:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. MT) and finally takes on Azerbaijan at 5 p.m. (9:00 a.m. MT) on Tuesday, October 16.
The Rapids match this Saturday against the first-place San Jose Earthquakes kicks off at 7:00 p.m. MT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 303-825-GOAL or visit www.ColoradoRapids.com.