Mark this down: if Shane O’Neill were playing at New York, the righteous cry for this guy to getting national team attention might be already be deafening.
Or don’t you remember a fellow named Tim Ream?
Really, same deal if O’Neill wore the jersey of Seattle or even D.C. United, where market dynamics demand that we pay more attention to what’s going on at these higher profile MLS addresses.
In Colorado, a guy like Chris Klute or O’Neill can fly under the radar longer.
O’Neill is in the United States national team camp now; the month of sessions began today in sunny Southern California. He deserves the call, too, for bumping veterans out of a starting spot and establishing himself as a talented up-and-comer along Colorado’s back line.
The Irish-born center back moved to the United States as a 1-year-old. He’s just 20 years old, so there’s ample time to make his mark internationally. BUT … there is a pressure point here: He just finished training at Fulham, so the awareness of the recent U.S. under-20 international is rising. And he could still choose to play for Ireland.
In fact, if you listen to his words from the Colorado Rapids website, it doesn’t sound like a far-fetched possibility:
Obviously I’m just extremely settled with this call-up right now. You know, until you’re capped (at senior level), you still have a decision to make.
“I’ve played solely with the US. I haven’t played with Ireland, yet, so I’m pretty committed to the US right now and they’ve given me this chance, so hopefully I can get capped some time, but at the same time I’ve got to keep an open mind.”