Colorado Rapids have announced the transfer of defender Shane O’Neill to Apollon Limassol of Cyprus. Per team and league policy, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Rapids Development Academy product from Boulder was signed as the club’s second Homegrown Player in June 2012. He was named the Rapids’ Young Player of the Year for 2013 after a season in which he played 26 games (24 starts), including an undefeated run in O’Neill’s first 16 starts as a professional.
Overall, the 21-year-old competed in 52 games for Rapids, 48 starts, scoring one goal. His last appearance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was in the Chipotle MLS Homegrown game last Tuesday night.
On the international front, O’Neill played in two matches at the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, scoring one of the team’s three goals at the tournament. In June, the 21-year-old was voted the third-best player of the prestigious Toulon Tournament after helping the U.S. Under-23s finish third overall. In January he was invited to train with the full U.S. Men’s National Team but did not feature in a game.
“This is a bittersweet announcement for us,” said Paul Bravo, VP of Soccer Operations and Technical Director. “We are very proud of Shane’s accomplishments which began in our Academy before extending to national teams and the Rapids first-team.
“Although he is leaving us to fulfill his ambitions in Europe, he leaves an important legacy. We want to thank Shane for all that he has done for the club on and off the field. He will be missed but we are excited for him as he embarks on a new chapter in his career and wish him the best of luck in Europe.”
Apollon have won the Cypriot League three times and Cypriot cup seven times. They finished third in the Cypriot League last season. As a result, they are competing in the UEFA Europa League for the third successive campaign. They have reached the group stage in each of the previous two years, playing against illustrious clubs such as Villarreal, Lazio, Nice and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Colorado Rapids return to action on Saturday when they entertain Columbus Crew at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. For more information on tickets please visit www.ColoradoRapids.com or call us on 303-825-GOAL.