By MIKE DONOVAN
The Colorado Rapids are the only MLS franchise with multiple players named to the most recent U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team roster, with Shane O’Neill and Dillon Serna being named to Tab Ramos’ squad for the Toulon Tournament. While the tournament runs from May 28 through June 8, O’Neill will stay with the club for its June 1 match with FC Dallas before flying to France.
O’Neill has been a key piece for the Rapids defense in 2013. In fact, Colorado is unbeaten in the seven matches that O’Neill has started (4-0-3) this season. The converted midfielder was born in Ireland and maintains dual citizenship.
Here are some more news and notes from around the Western Conference heading into MLS Week 13 action:
With the MLS welcoming NYCFC to the league in 2015, some eyes have shifted to the ownership situation of Chivas USA. While rumors of a sale have been shot down by league, owners of other MLS franchises have been pressuring the league to do something about the Southern California club, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Chivas USA is averaging under 8,000 fans at its matches this season, which is 38 percent less from last season’s total. The Goats have had the worst attendance in MLS since 2011.
Starting with Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas will start offering bus rides to home matches with stops at two pubs in towns outside of Frisco. The FCD Express Bus Program gives fans the chance to get a match ticket and ride from either Plano or Addison for $25.
LOS ANGELES GALAXY
With three losses in their last four games, the pressure seems to be mounting on the defending champion LA Galaxy. But Carlo Cudicini believes the Galaxy are in good shape, despite the recent defeats.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper points to the Galaxy’s goals-against record to show the team is doing just fine. Only two MLS clubs have given up fewer goals than LA this season.
Will Johnson, who has notched a career-high five goals for the Timbers in 2013, has embraced his villain role when playing away from Jeld-Wen Field. Johnson has twice slotted home a penalty kick on the road this season and, on both occasions, the Canadian International has gestured towards the opposing fans.
REAL SALT LAKE
After playing three straight road matches, Real Salt Lake starts a four-game home stand Saturday against the Chicago Fire. RSL has already played eight matches away from home, tied for the most in MLS with Red Bull New York.
“I think you appreciate being at home after you’ve been on the road for a while,” defender Nat Borchers told the Salt Lake Tribune. “Being on the road is kind of a different animal. And being at home is where you feel comfortable. ”
SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES
Earthquake teammates Victor Bernardez and Marvin Chavez have both been called up by Honduras for two World Cup qualifying matches in June. The Honduran pair will miss two MLS games while they take on Costa Rica on June 7 and the United States on June 18. The June 18 match will take place in a familiar setting for the Earthquake players, as it is being played at RSL’s Rio Tinto Stadium.
When Seattle starts its run at making a fifth consecutive US Open Cup final next week, there will be a familiar face for defender Zach Scott. Scott will be taking on his brother Daniel for the second time in his professional career, as the Sounders will travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Two years ago, the brothers played when the Sounders beat Daniel Scott’s Kitsap Pumas, 2-1, in the third round of the US Open Cup.
The Kenny Miller rumors continued this week after Miller’s former teammate, Kris Boyd, told a Scottish newspaper that Miller wants to return to Scotland. The Whitecaps have denied that the Designated Player will be leaving anytime soon and head coach Martin Rennie believes that the injured Miller might be available for next week’s Canadian Championship final against Montreal.
Miller had a strong start to the season, scoring twice in March for Vancouver. But the Scottish International has not played since March 30, due to international duty and a hamstring injury.
Drew Moor’s first comment to me about Shane: “That guy is a soccer player. He’s not much else, but by god he’s a soccer player.”
Shano is a classic D-Mid conversion who’s thriving as a technical CB. He could be a Geoff Cameron type.
Shano is a cla$$ic D-Mid conversion who’s thriving as a technical CB. He could be a Geoff Cameron type.
only better than Cameron. At his age Cameron patrolling the midfield for WVU / Rhode Island. So O’Neill definitely has a jump on his career. I like the Cameron comparison but O’Neill definitely has a higher ceiling due to his age and international experience.
Being from Denver, O’Neill has been a name around in CO for years. He always stood out for the Academy but you never know how a kid will adjust to the “next” level. It’s always a question mark. O’Neill’s question mark was erased the first game he played for the Rapids. Fresh out of high school, against Sawnsea City in a friendly, he immediately looked like he belonged. He was brilliant. in midfield no less, but even then you could tell he was destined to move to a CB. Shane has the tool and is getting the experience and recognition he deserves. Not bad for a 19 yr. old. In 2-3 yrs. time I feel sure he will make the jump abroad. There is no work permit restriction with an Irish passport, so someone in England will come calling.
O’Neill has a very bright future in the USMNT program and for the Rapids.
Not to be overly picky, but while the US may duel for his playing for us, it is dual citizenship. Anyway, good to hear there is some good young talent on the rise.
Disappointed in how Chivas has not appropriately invested in their MLS team. Buy them out and get the team to a good owner and market that will add value to the league.
Glad to see the Rapids have some more young guns coming through! Every team in the league needs a young player to pin some big hopes on.
O’neill is an interesting development. He is a home grown player with no college experience.