Hugh O'Neill (soccer)
|Date of birth||July 16, 1954|
|Place of birth||Kearny, New Jersey, United States|
|Playing position||Forward / Midfielder|
|University of Bridgeport|
|1976–1977||→ Rangers (loan)||0||(0)|
|1984–1985||Cleveland Force (indoor)||15||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Born and raised in Kearny, New Jersey, 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. 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. 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. 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.
- Duger, Rose (27 October 2011). "Kearny Youth Soccer celebrates 50 years with fieldhouse dedication to co-founders, Hugh O'Neill Sr. and Bill Raftery". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- A divide wider than the Atlantic
- "Carolina Wins A.S.L. Title". The New York Times. 1981-09-19.
- Lightnin' signs two