Shane O'Neill

Shane O’Neill not only made the bench for the Colorado Rapids, put he has been given playing time despite the fact that the 18-year-old native of Boulder, Colo., signed his first professional contract in June. In a recent interview head coach Oscar Pareja said, “[Shane] is s a kid who’s growing within the group…He’s growing with the training and playing with the reserves, and he’s making a lot of progress and he’s one of the options.”
O’Neill attended Fairview High School in Boulder and was named Colorado’s 2011 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year, as well as earning MVP honors in the 2011 High School All-American Soccer Game. He was also a standout basketball player at Fairview, earning BoCoPreps.com Player of the Year honors this past winter. At 6’2”, 190 pounds, O’Neill has played as both a midfielder and a forward in soccer, and his 10 goals for the Rapids U-18’s this season led the team. He has been training with the Rapids first team throughout 2012, and has played in four Reserve Team matches this season, including playing the full 90 minutes in a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City on June 9.

He had planned on playing soccer at the University of Virginia this fall, but instead will stay in Colorado and is available for selection with the first team immediately. O’Neill is the second Homegrown Player – a roster designation that allows MLS clubs to sign players from their youth system to contracts that do not count against the salary cap – to be signed by the Rapids, following Davy Armstrong of Aurora, who joined Colorado’s first team on August 16, 2010.

Born in Midleton, Ireland, Shane moved with his family to the United States when he was one year old, and he has dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland. His father Colm O’Neill, won All Ireland medals with County Cork in Irish Football, and is in the restaurant business, including ownership of Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder.
Both father and son played on championship GAA teams with the Denver Gaels.
(Photo Credit: James Dewhirst / Colorado Rapids)

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