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Orlando City signs Irish-American centerback Shane O’Neill

Orlando City is set to add Irish-American centerback Shane O’Neill, addressing the club’s lack of depth on the back line following numerous injuries so far this season.

A club source confirmed O’Neill, who trained with the Lions on Tuesday, has been signed. He’ll be available for selection after the secondary transfer window opens on July 10.

He joins Orlando City from Excelsior Rotterdam, which plays in Eredivisie, the highest division of professional soccer in the Netherlands.

The 6-foot-2, 24-year-old centerback has MLS experience. From 2012 until 2015, he played for the Colorado Rapids, compiling 52 appearances (48 starts) in league play and scoring one goal. He had his best season with the Rapids in 2014, when he started 21 games before going down with an MCL injury. 

He was signed by the Rapids as a Homegrown player after he decided to forgo playing college soccer at the University of Virginia. 

O’Neill, who was born in Middleton, Ireland, is a dual citizen and is eligible to represent both Ireland and the U.S. He’s played for the United States’ U20 and U23 teams, and was called up to the senior national team in January 2015 for a friendly against Panama. He was an unused sub in that match. 

O’Neill is just the latest acquisition for Orlando City after an offseason that included more than a dozen new signings — three of them true centerbacks. Amro Tarek (international duty), Lamine Sane (knee) and Chris Schuler (broken arm) have all missed time this season. 

Right back RJ Allen was also acquired in the offseason and has been deployed as a centerback. 

Orlando City has three matches (home against Montreal on Saturday, away against Atlanta United on June 30 and away against LAFC on July 7) before the secondary transfer window opens. The earliest match O’Neill would be available for is on July 14 against Toronto FC at Orlando City Stadium. 




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