From the Colorado Rapids to the Cyprus Apollon Limassol to Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz in Belgium. Such are the travels of Shane O'Neill. What do we know about Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz? We know that they moved up to the top-tier Belgian Pro League after winning a playoff in the 2013-14 season. According to MLSSoccer.com, they plan to use O'Neill on the backline.
O'Neill signed a two-year contract with the Belgian squad, and hopes to start training with them as early as Thursday, after the U23-USMNT squad completes their friendly against Qatar on September 8.
Whether you subscribe or not to the notion that "once a Rapid, always a Rapid" (though that's next to impossible in Kyle Beckerman's case), given how many accolades O'Neill received in 2012 and 2013 with the Rapids (Rapids Young Player of the Year and a nomination for U.S. Soccer Young Athlete of the Year), one does wish him all the best in this new turn in his career.
We have some astute readers in our Burgundy Wave audience. Here's some questions I have for you, to help us paint the picture:
- Does anyone know much about the Belgian Pro League in general, or about Royal Mouscron-Peruwelz specifically? I understand that two Belgian clubs merged for the 2010 after the R.E.E. Mouscron club filed for bankruptcy. Other than that? Sorry, I'm not up on Belgian soccer, other than that epic battle in the World Cup between them and our US Boys.
- Where do you see O'Neill's career trajectory at this point? Did he wash out with the Rapids, or did the Rapids mishandle his talent?
Time to gear up for the Rapids trip to Vancouver, a team whom we've beaten twice already. Let's make it a hat trick, boys!