Hugh O'Neill (soccer)

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Hugh O'Neill
Personal information
Date of birth (1954-07-16) July 16, 1954 (age 63)
Place of birth Kearny, New Jersey, United States
Playing position Forward / Midfielder
Youth career
University of Bridgeport
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1976 Hartford Bicentennials 16 (2)
1976–1977 Rangers (loan) 0 (0)
1977 Connecticut Bicentennials 3 (1)
1977 Dallas Tornado 2 (0)
1978 Memphis Rogues 12 (2)
Carolina Lightnin'
1984–1985 Cleveland Force (indoor) 15 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Hugh O'Neill is a retired American soccer player who played professionally in the North American Soccer League, American Soccer League and Major Indoor Soccer League.

Born and raised in Kearny, New Jersey,[1] O'Neill graduated from Essex Catholic High School before playing soccer at the University of Bridgeport where he was a 1973 and 1975 Honorable Mention (third team) All American soccer player. In 1976, O'Neill turned professional with the Hartford Bicentennials of the North American Soccer League.

That fall, the Bicentennials sent him on loan to Rangers F.C. of the Scottish League. The Bicentennials failed to perceive that O'Neill's Roman Catholic faith and his family history of supporting Celtic could present a problem. Despite this, O'Neill played every reserve game that season, except for the games against the Celtic's reserves.[2] The Bicentennials became the Connecticut Bicentennials for the 1977 season. The Bicentennials sent him to the Dallas Tornado during the season.

In 1978, he became the first player signed by the Memphis Rogues. He later played for the Carolina Lightnin' of the American Soccer League. In September 1981, he scored the game-winning goal as the Lightnin' took the ASL championship.[3] He continued with the Lightnin' in 1982, but lost part of the season when he returned to New Jersey to be with his dying father.[4] He played the 1984-1985 indoor season with the Cleveland Force of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

O'Neill played for the 1976 U.S. Olympic Soccer team during its unsuccessful qualification campaign for the Olympic tournament.


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