Colorado Rapids' central defender, Shane O'Neill, played in a friendly fixture on Tuesday for Sheffield Wednesday's U21s, as he continues his training stint at the English Championship club.
"I felt good out there," O'Neill said. "It was a great run out just to get some air back in my lungs. We were all happy with the result and individually I thought I had a good performance, kept it simple, but was very solid."
O'Neill went the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. The visitors had the best of the first half, before Wednesday worked their way back into the contest.
"The first half Boro had a lot of the ball," O'Neill explained. "Their wingers got in behind the fullbacks a few times and caused problems. Luckily for us, the one or two times the keeper was called upon to make a save he did that and kept us in it.
"Second half we really pressed them, changed the formation and were dominant. A great second half performance was capped off by a fantastic goal, but we battled it out in the first half and deserved the victory."
The Boulder native returned to England having trained last year with Fulham, which at that time was in the English Premier League. Against Middlesbrough, he again experienced the different nature of the game overseas.
"I felt a bit more of the physical nature was there today," he added. "You really have to dig in and battle in these games to grind out the result. Obviously we didn't score til late on, so it was a great feeling to have worked that hard and get the win."
The 21-year-old is due to be in England until December 4.
O'Neill was also the topic of conversation on Monday involving USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. The talented defender has represented the USA at age-group level, and was called to the senior side's training camp in January, but - as he is yet to feature for the full senior side in a competitive match - he could still opt to play for the nation of his birth, Ireland.
Jurgen asked if Shane O’Neill is in his plans. “Yes, he’s in our plans.” When reminded O’Neill is Irish-born, JK “Yes, but he’ll go with us”— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) November 17, 2014