Chivas USA v Colorado Rapids

Boulder native Shane O’ Neill scored his first professional goal Saturday, May 24, to help the Colorado Rapids win 4-1 over the Montreal Impact. Playing in front of an enthusiastic home crowd at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, O’Neill intercepted a clearing pass from just outside the penalty area and blasted a shot into the top left corner of Montreal’s goal.

Born in Ireland and raised in Boulder where his family owns Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, O’Neill was signed to the Rapids program his senior year at Fairview High School. During his school days he was a top scorer as a forward and midfielder, but the Rapids have been developing O’Neill as a defender. Last year he took over for injured starting defender Diego Calderon who had an extensive knee injury and never letting go of his spot in the lineup. Also in the past year, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann of the U.S. National Team, called on O’Neill to play center back.

As a defensive player, opportunities to take a shot on the net and score are not frequent – O’Neill relished in the moment. “It’s been a long time coming for me,” O’Neill told reporters postgame. “It felt really good once the ball popped out. I think I had a couple of chances like that last year. I got a good touch on it. Once it left my foot, I kind of had a feeling it was going in. It was great, but more importantly, we got the three points tonight.”

With his first professional score O’Neill also won a friendly wager with his teammate Chris Klute.
“Me and Chris had an agreement that whoever scores first had to buy the other one a video game,” O’Neill said. “We’ve been going back and forth on who would score first.”

Colorado Rapids home games are played at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
6000 Victory Way, Commerce City. June home games are:
6/1 6:00PM vs. Houston; 6/4 7:00PM vs. Chicago; 6/17 7:00PM vs. Orlando City SC;
6/28 7:00PM vs. Vancouver. For complete schedule, updates, and information go to www.coloradorapids.com

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