COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Friday, January 3, 2013) – Colorado Rapids players Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill have been called up to the United States National Team for the first FIFA World Cup preparation camp in 2014, which will take place from Jan. 6 to Feb. 1 in Carson, Calif. and Sao Paulo, Brazil before finishing with a Feb. 1 match against Korea Republic. The selection to the U.S. is the first for both Klute and O’Neill, who finished their first full MLS seasons in 2013.
“This is a wonderful achievement for both Chris and Shane, who had great 2013 seasons for our club,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “As a Homegrown Player, Shane’s selection to this camp is significant for everyone at the Rapids and throughout soccer in Colorado, and Chris has already developed into one of the league’s premier outside backs at a young age. We’re happy for them and hope this experience helps them keep growing as players.”
Klute, 23, came to the Rapids on loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks of the NASL in late 2012, and made his MLS debut in the final match of that season. He signed permanently for Colorado in the middle of the 2013 season, a year in which he played 31 matches for the Rapids (30 starts) at left back, leading the team with seven assists and being named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year. In 2007, Klute played with both the U.S. Under-17 and Under-20 National Teams, including one match at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Klinsmann on January roster
O’Neill, 20, signed with the Rapids in mid-2012 after playing several years in the Rapids Academy and made his MLS debut late in the 2012 season. He broke into Colorado’s starting lineup early in 2013, and played primarily as a central defender in a total of 26 matches (24 starts), only missing time to join the U.S. Under-20 National Team for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. At the end of the season, he was named Rapids Young Player of the Year. A Boulder native, O’Neill was born in Midleton, Ireland and moved to the U.S. at a young age.
- VIDEO: Shane O'Neill, 2013 Young Player of the Year
- VIDEO: Chris Klute, 2013 Defensive Player of the Year
The U.S. National Team will convene on Jan. 6 in Carson, Calif. and train at the StubHub Center in Carson until Jan. 12, when the group will travel to Sao Paulo, Brazil to train through Jan. 25. The squad will resume practices in Carson on Jan. 27 before facing Korea Republic in an international friendly at the StubHub Center on Feb. 1 (3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. PT, ESPN2/UniMas). Klute and O’Neill are two of just nine players who have not yet played a match for the U.S. National Team.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – JANUARY TRAINING CAMP IN CALIFORNIA/BRAZIL
GOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC) Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Colorado holds the 11th overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, to take place on January 16 in Philadelphia, and the Rapids will open preseason in late January. The Rapids season starts on March 15 at New York Red Bulls, with the Home Opener at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park against the Portland Timbers on March 22.