Rapids defender Shane O'Neill scored the United States' only goal in their 4-1 loss to Ghana on Thursday in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. With the defeat, the United States fell to fourth in the Group and were eliminated from the World Cup in Turkey.
The United States needed a win over Ghana in order to advance, as well as help from the France-Spain game, but it was not on the cards. With the Americans 2-0 down in the second half, Luis Gil played a short corner to Jose Villarreal, who then found Oscar Sorto near the top right corner of the penalty area. Sorto crossed the ball first-time into the box, finding a wide open O'Neill who buried his header from eight yards out. Ghana answered back two-fold to ultimately take the 4-1 victory.
In Thursday’s game, as well as Monday's 1-1 draw with France, O'Neill played the entire 90 minutes at center back for head coach Tab Ramos. O'Neill was ineligible to play in the U.S.'s 4-1 loss to Spain on June 21 due to receiving a red card in his previous FIFA match. Initially signed as a midfielder by Rapids boss Oscar Pareja, it was Ramos who discovered O'Neill's talent in anchoring the defense during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
O’Neill will now return to Denver to rejoin the Rapids for next week’s double-feature against Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls on July 4, presented by HealthONE, and against D.C. United on July 7. Thursday’s match is part of the Rapids and Commerce City’s 18th annual 4thFest presented by Westerra Credit Union, while Sunday will be Military Appreciation Night, presented by Coca-Cola, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Both matches will feature a festival in the parking lots before and during the game, as well as one of the state’s biggest fireworks displays after the match. Tickets are still available by visiting www.ColoradoRapids.com or calling 303-825-GOAL, with special seating options available to fans on July 4.