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Emerging U.S. international Shane O’Neill still has a choice, also eligible to play for Ireland

Jan 6, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

Shane O'Neill, Leo Gonzalez

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.”

  1. bishopofblunder - Jan 6, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    Would playing in one of the January friendlies count as being “capped” or does it have to be a “competition” appearance? If it counts then get him in there! For depth sake, if nothing else. You can never have too many center backs (or any other position for that matter).

    • krazymunky - Jan 6, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      If you appear for a senior team competitive match, you are cap tied.

      Friendlies do no count. So he could still file a one time country switch.

      • talgrath - Jan 6, 2014 at 10:34 PM

        That’s not necessarily true. Some friendlies do count for cap-tying, some don’t, the rules are a bit murky and confusing there.

      • bear06 - Jan 7, 2014 at 1:59 AM

        krazymunky is right. Playing in any friendly does not cap tie a player.

  2. seanb20124 - Jan 7, 2014 at 8:39 AM

    Like Aron, he would be choosing a team with no hope of ever playing in a WC.

    So like Aron, he will stick with USA.

    • tonyinquakeland - Jan 8, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      Ireland has a ppeared in three World Cups and it took an Thierry Henry hand ball to stop it from making the last one. The US is clearly going to make more Cups than Ireland, but saying that Ireland will never make it is not right.

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