Colorado Rapids defender Shane O'Neill scored the match winner for the United States Under-20 National Team today in a 3-1 win over Portugal at Municipal Stadium in Vila Real Santo Antonio, Portugal. The game was a tune-up for the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which takes place in Turkey starting on June 21.
O'Neill entered the match at halftime with the match tied 1-1, and wasted little time in putting the U.S. ahead, finishing a Jose Villareal free kick in the 51st minute. The goal was his first for the U.S. U-20's, and came in his 10th appearance with the team. The United States padded its lead just two minutes later to go up 3-1, and held Portugal scoreless in the second half to preserve the win.
The U.S. U-20's will start their participation in the World Cup in one week, first facing Spain on June 21 before taking on France on June 24 and Ghana on June 27 in Group A play. The first two matches will be broadcast live on ESPN2, and the third on ESPNU; all matches will also be available on ESPN.com.
O'Neill, a Rapids Homegrown Player from Boulder who signed with the club a year ago, has become a key part of the Rapids defense after Diego Calderón early-season injury. He has played in 10 of 14 league matches this year and will return to Colorado following the U.S. U-20's participation in the World Cup.