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Shane O’Neill signs with Dutch club Excelsior


Shane O’Neill’s European journey has brought him to the Eredivisie, but not with the club many expected.

Excelsior announced on Monday that the club has signed the former Colorado Rapids centerback to a one-year deal with an option for a second season. The move comes a season after O’Neill played a vital part in getting fellow Dutch club NEC Breda promoted to the first division.

“I really wanted to play in the Eredivisie and am very happy that I get the chance to show myself at this level,” said the 23-year-old defender. “I look forward to being here and hopefully to play many matches for Excelsior.

“I was loaned, so that was a special situation,” O’Neill added. “After last year, I really wanted to play in the Eredivisie and that’s why I’m excited to get that chance at Excelsior. As I said, I would like to start here. I had a good season last year and this feels like a great step to further develop myself. “

After emerging with the Colorado Rapids, O’Neill moved to Europe to join Cypriot club Apollon Limasol in 2015. He subsequently has taken part in loan spells to Moeskroen, Cambridge United and NAC Breda.

During his stay at NAC Breda, O’Neill made 29 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal. The defender helped lead the club to promotion, but a deal could not be reached to make the move permanent. Now, he joins an Excelsior team that finished 12th in the Eredivisie last season.

With the move, O’Neill also joins fellow American Desevio Payne, who signed with the club during the summer.


  1. A great example of leaving to “Europe” just for the hell of it. You never know for sure, but it’s fairly likely that he would have been better off staying in MLS and probably being a consistent starter.

    • Then there’s the case of Jay DeMerit. Getting no offers from anyone, he moved to England on his own and his first pro team was in the 9th tier of English football. He worked his way up to the Championship, then his team, Watford, got promoted, he played in the EPL and ended up playing in the 2010 World Cup for the US. There are many roads to success. I think most important are focus, determination, perseverance, and hard work.

      • Jay did not get MLS offers. He had no choice, but to leave. This guy seemed to think that Cyprus was a good move

  2. This guy never gave up. Good for him. Now to build some backline chemistry with Desevio, and this could be pretty good for ol ‘Murica.

  3. The odyssey continues. It seems like he has been around a long time with so many different stops, that it’s a surprise to read that he’s still only 23. Hope he does well as the Eredevisie has been good for many players to move to a top 5 league.


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