Shea struggling to meet high expectations

Shea (Getty Images)

Brek Shea's season could not be straying any further from how most thought it would unfold.

After a year full of U.S. men's national team appearances and an offseason filled with European transfer speculation and a training stint at Arsenal, Shea has struggled to meet the lofty expectations bestowed upon him and has had his standing as a rising American star and transfer candidate take a step back.

Between the disappointment of the U.S. Under-23 national team's failure to qualify for the Olympics, Shea's three-game suspension for deliberately kicking a ball at a referee and an overall lack of effectiveness on the field that resulted in him being left off the national team roster for the May and June friendlies and World Cup qualifiers, the College Station, Texas, native has regressed in his fifth professional season. Last year, Shea scored 11 goals, assisted on four others and was a legitimate MVP candidate. This season, he had one spurt in April during which he scored in three of four games, but he has not been involved in an FC Dallas goal since then.

Frustations boiled over Wednesday night in San Jose, when the 22-year-old Shea, under contract with FC Dallas through 2015, was unceremoniously substituted for in the 64th minute with FCD looking to come back from a 2-0 deficit. He expressed his emotions during a verbal altercation with manager Schellas Hyndman, one that led player-coach Daniel Hernandez to issue pointed remarks his way.

"I thought [Shea] was very disrespectful, not only just to Schellas, but I thought to the rest of the team," Hernandez told ESPN following the match. "He's a young guy still, but this shows the immaturity there in him, and I think a lack of professionalism that right now, at this point in the season, the way things have been going for us, we can't have.

"Nobody likes to come out of a game. I don't like to come out of a game. I'm pissed off when I come out of a game, or when I don't play. But when things are not going well for you, or you're not having a good game, and coach needs to make a change, you have to respect it. At this point in the season, we can't have those breakdowns right now, because we need everybody. We need him. He's one of the stars of our team, and we need him to step up with his leadership and his play. He's obviously one of the best players in the country. In order for us to try to fight to get into the playoffs, we're going to need him and everyone else, 100 percent."

So where does this leave Shea, Hyndman and FC Dallas? With the club's injury-and-suspension-laden season turning into a nightmare, it would be easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and take drastic measures. The fact is, Shea is the face of that team, and any player is prone to a slump. That his has coincided with the Olympic qualifying disaster and FCD's season-long swoon has magnified things even more, but that does not necessarily mean he will be run out of town.

His actions Wednesday night were inexcusable, and Hyndman's staff should exert some sort of in-house discipline, whether it be a fine, suspension or place on the bench. For Shea, the most effective way to respond and make up for his lapse in judgment is with his actions on the field, where an attitude and form adjustment are both necessary.


What's your take on Shea's situation in Dallas? Should the club try and trade him? Is Hyndman the one that needs to go? Do you see this being a situation that both parties can salvage? Were the expectations placed on him too high for him to fulfill?

Share your thoughts below.

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83 Responses to Shea struggling to meet high expectations

  1. OneLegged says:

    Maybe a stint on the bench is in order? That seems to work for Montero…

  2. Brek Shea's Potential says:

    Dude, I heard that the MLS refused a 10 million offer from Dynamo Kiev for Shea last year? Really!?!?! Thats ridiculous. What a terrible organization.
    And related to that, but Shea needs/needed to move on to another challenge in Europe. he has stagnated. The MLS, as much as it tries to be, is NOT in that category of top second tier leagues that can cultivate talent and send it straight to the best leagues in the world.

  3. rambo says:

    Didn’t Hernandez have a twitter rant 2 weeks ago about being subbed out early??? Sounds like their is trouble at FCD

  4. wc says:

    Daniel Hernandez threw a temper tantrum of his own a couple of weeks ago when he was taken off corner kicks, and then after the game he took it to twitter too. His quote on Shea is hypocritical and pathetic.

    As for Shea, he hasn’t been playing his best, but he’s also injured, on a terrible team, and lately being played out of position. Still, a disappointing season from him so far. He’ll be fine in the end.


    What are you talking about, so Holden before the injury wasn’t a high talent. Please, Shea is struggling because he needs to grow up, if he doesn’t do that in MLS, he won’t in Europe. Why? because in Europe they would just cut him. I think US soccer fans is the most uneducated fans in the world. If he is struggling in MLS, what makes you think he would do well in Europe now? nothing. No one made a bid for Shea for over 10 Million, if they did MLS would have sold him. So stop making things up.

  6. john.q says:

    this is total speculation and based on no solid evidence but i feel like players with this fire… too much fire eventually helps them become great. rooney, baliotelli, even henry did some dirty things when he was younger. not sure… i don’t mind this coming from the kid.

  7. jake says:

    Is there any video of altercation with Hyndman?

  8. whoop-whoop says:

    Scolding him publicly in the media is no more appropriate than what Shea did. “Talk to him man to man in private… to the media say: He didn’t want to come out of the game and was upset… it happens.” I watched the game, he looked unhappy and said something as he walked by the coach. From a fans perspective, it didn’t look like a big deal. It’s a family matter, handle it in house behind closed doors.

  9. Ryan Nanez says:

    i think he had a good last season and a good 20 mins against mexico. i think he’s overrated and im glad he’s far from being called up to the USMNT.

  10. LarryB says:

    Mistakes are made, everyone makes them. The true mark of a person is what they learn from the mistake. If he learns a bit of respect and realizes that he should not act in this manner and turns it in to positive results on the field then this was not all for not. What he needs is a supportive team and coaching staff that is willing to work with him and make him aware of his mistakes and how to correct them.

  11. What? Man with potential has setback? I’ve never heard this story before…

  12. Anti-Rafa says:

    Never understood the hype behind SHea, everytime i see him play I can’t help thinking how overrated this kid is…he has some size but other than that he is horribly average.

  13. tim says:

    Schellas needs to go and loud mouth thug Hernandez needs to take a hike with him. Sadly Clark Hunt (owner of FCD) begged Schellas to leave SMU after 20+ years coaching there, to take over FCD. Clark was one of Hyndmans players for a few years… ties are too deep to be cut probably.

    I say Mark Cuban buys the team and makes them a city favorite. Clarks need to go, Schellas needs to go, Hernandez needs to go. There’s a lot of cleaning up to be done with this club…

  14. biff says:

    I like Shea and also got his bandwagon last autumn, but he has turned into a total dud. Maybe he let all the hype get to his head and started acting like a star a bit too soon. The kid should quit writing that stupid blog he writes for another web site and quit giving interviews and start working his bu++ off to improve his basic skills and improve his strength and endurance–quite simply, give 100% to soccer like every other star had to do. I agree with the guy above that the place to start is for the coach to set him on the bench for the next game and let him stew about his future and, maybe, he will grow up enough to apologize to the team and I am only saying all this cause I really think he has talent and I would love to see him develop it in time for WC 2014.

  15. Dimidri says:

    This is the fourth article written on the subject as well, two on Pro Soccer Talk, one on ESPN, then this…yikes

  16. James h says:

    The thing is…there are probably over 500 or more Brek Sheas in the world. He is average in an average league.

  17. James h says:

    Any other league you have to earn it. MLS has invested much time and lots of money in Brek. He will never have to earn it in MLS. He can kick the ball at the referee and throw as many tantrums as he wants and he will always dress.

  18. Big Silk says:

    I think Dempsey went straight to the EPL from MLS. Howard went from MLS to Manchester United. As the Beast of New York says, Holden went from MLS to Bolton. Ream went from New York straight to Bolton. We could list more if you need. I agree that MLS needs to let these guys go when they have their chance but I think that MLS can nurture players and grow them as well as some of the smaller European Leagues. We have seen too many players move too early and ride the pine in Europe instead of staying in MLS longer and getting consistent playing time.

  19. chris says:

    Yes Brek Shea is having a bad year but people are overreacting over this little dust up as much as they were after his one good season. Shea’s got obvious talent but he also has holes in his game which are not being improved. I dont buy the fact that hes been playing out of postion as an excuse because good players can play multiple postitons, i think its just mental at this point, although i cant really blame him for yelling at hyndman. Overrated coach with no sense of squad rotation at all

  20. betamale says:

    What has been happening with Dallas this season? Last year they seemed to be playing with a fresh style not normally seen in MLS. Lots of exciting talented youngsters and foreigners. Shea was playing great and so was El Gato.

    Now they suck. Why such a change? (I suppose same applies for LA, but I know all about their problems)

  21. Duneman says:

    Without the playoffs Dallas will have a pretty short season. If he cant turn things around quick enough in Dallas I just hope he can re-boot things with a good off season loan.

    Heck…I have not been doing so well in the office and have had a bit of a funk…it happens to everyone. If I could work on my laptop at the FO at Arsenal maybe I could stop the slide 😉

    I just hope he finds a good off season loan. Arsenal might not have him train again, but maybe one of the clubs that have come through the US might let him train which would still be huge. It would be good to see him spend some time with Liverpool, Spurs, or Chelsea for a few weeks or maybe get a yank back in camp at Fulham. When he was on fire it was easy to get some big team time….not sure if having a good relationship with the US and MLS though will be enough to bring him into some off season training.

    It might be good though to get him to train with a team with another one of the Yanks ie Roma, AZ, Bolton, Stoke, Rapid, Molde etc….it would just be good to get a change of view and ideally have at least another yank to help him get settled and learn not just from their players but also see a fellow USMNTer fighting everyday in practice to improve his game.

  22. NE Matt says:

    Awww he’s our own little Fernando Torres

  23. Mwing09 says:

    I knew an article like this would be coming soon, and was waiting to watch everyone jump off his fall bandwagon and start torching it. But I think some of us are going a little overboard. You can say he’s overrated, and that may be true, but everyone needs to stop throwing around the word “average”. Brek Shea is nowhere near an average player. He may be inconsistent but an average player does not show the flashes of skill Brek has showed for FCD and USMNT in the past. And he’s only 22 people, it should be expected that his play will be inconsistent for a little while.
    Also this confrontation thing is being way overblown. He’s a young kid who has probably never not played the full 90 in his life. And to come out with 30 min left in one of the most important games so far this season, I’d be pissed as well. He’s in poor form, on a poor team, and has a poor coaching staff around him, it’s OK that he’s frustrated. What matters is whether his frustration leads to something better.

  24. kurgen99 says:

    Geez, he’s only 22. Give the dude a break. He actually probably needs just that-a break.

  25. Chicago Josh says:

    Agreed. He doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb on the tree, either. The kid needs to start with an attitude adjustment, and get rid of that terrible hair cut, which has to be the worst in the history of US Soccer…no small feat when compared with Tony Meola’s mullet (’90), or pony tail with shaved sides-of-the head thing (’94).

  26. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    That is just pure, silly, drivel. They were one of if not the best team last season. Now, because of an injury riddled season contributing to a bad run of form – everyone has to go? You’re a clown.

  27. Juan says:

    Maybe he needs to work with Beckham in the offseason to learn how to kick a ball at a referee and only draw a 1 game suspension?

    Could be that once you get by the blonde hair, he’s really not all that?

  28. NARTO says:

    SELL HIM NOW. Even if it’s for a few million dollars. Maybe he really needs to head abroad to ease his mind

  29. tim says:

    They could have been better last season is Schellas hadn’t run his starting XI into the ground. It was painfully obvious to everyone but him the guys were beat up and tired, yet he continued to play the same group each game. This run down makes me wonder how much it lead to some of the injuries this season.

  30. Todd says:

    What’s really scary about Brek, was that many in the media were pegging him to carry the mantle of the US’ top attacker once Dempsey and Donovan call it quits. Seriously, what is going to happen to the USMNT once those two hang it up? I see no viable replacement in sight, and as a fan, that scares me.

    Brek needs to grow up, put his head in the game and try to improve. He needs to be less concerned about a transfer to Europe and his image, and concentrate on being the best soccer player possible.

  31. The Imperative Voice says:

    If there were no UK work permit rules we’d probably staff 1/3 of the EPL teams with keepers, the keeping is that good. As it is, you have Friedel, Howard, Guzan.

    Little known but Holden started at Sunderland after Clemson, played for their reserves, had some injuries and never got on track, then benefitted from MLS more as a fresh start than anything else. IMO Houston wasted a lot of their time with him by apprenticing him to Mullan even as he surpassed him. But my basic point is he was a known quantity with English Championship cred when he came back here.

    I think FCD sucks this year and Hyndman has never been his best booster, brought him along slow. It sounds like Shea may have some off-field growing up to do, and may be struggling emotionally to deal with FCD suckage, and I’m not sure Europe is the best place to suddenly get serious. A trade to a competitive team, perhaps not in a marquee market, with a serious approach, might be in order.

    Before people start freaking out, it cool easily be like the LA baseball player Kemp’s lost year a little bit back, where he was a star, hit some maturity issues when he started dating Hollywood types, basically burned a year to find himself. He’s still 22 and he’s converted more potential to performance than, say, Freddy Adu, plenty of time to turn the ship around.

    That being said, being omitted from the qualifier callups was a pretty clear signal to get one’s crap together. Not sure if dysfunctional Dallas is the place but he needs to get cracking to salvage this cycle.

  32. NARTO says:

    what league would be perfect for Shea? I’ve read a lot of hype about him but so what.

  33. Evan says:

    Anyone else think Shea is starting to look like Eddie Gaven? One time young, rising star with the US National team, ends up a slightly above average, but not spectacular, player for MLS who never reaches hype or even his potential

  34. Tommie says:

    Maybe they should hire Tim “Winning” V. for their new manager to replace SH. Better yet as their team know it all.

  35. Mig22 says:

    Agree on all points really. The kid may have been over-hyped but he is clearly a talent.

    Personally, I thought he got run down last year by playing too many games. A short season may be just the ticket for a nice, long offseason rest.

  36. David says:

    Shea needs to get on a better MLS team. Dallas is far from a team or organization to where he can really shine and benefit. Last year was good, but he needs to have quality all around him to really benefit from this league. Half empty stadium, a bunch of South American you never heard of, and an organization that just isn’t in stride with the majority of the other teams in the league is not the place for a up incoming footballer. Example: why did they trade for De Guzman, he is way over paid for a very unproductive center-mid? I wouldn’t trade shoe strings for him. Trade Shea to Portland, Seattle, NY or Vancouver. He will have a better chance to succeed at anyone of those cities.

  37. FasterThanU says:

    Think about where Dempsey was 22 years old, Donovan at 22, they have growing pains. The kid got mad about being substituted, oh well. He plays hard, runs non stop and is being played out of position (not the first time I’ll add, remember when Shellas played him in defense, LB really?) He has a lot of talent, is going to capitalize on that talent and make a lot of you who’ve posted negatively about him regret it. Although, this is the internet and you can be whoever you want so no one is holding anyone to any standard. Just realize that the kid is still a kid and isn’t doing anything in the realm of some of Balotelli’s transgressions. Once again, he’s out of position on a bad team (good team with David Ferreira back), possibly being coached by someone that may or may not have lost the dressing room.

  38. B 16 says:

    Don’t forget Jeff Agois sported the same top pony tail with shaved sides for years!

  39. FastThanU says:

    Seriously? Once young? He’s 22. Give the kid a break and eat your humble pie when he reaches his peak potential.

  40. Rlw2020 says:

    +1 every player must grow up. Fans tend to imagine that prospects all evolve at the same pace and by year x they should be playing in the prem or national team.

    Truth is he has had good years and bad years, everyone does. He is certainly not a quiet passive type, so i would expect him to voice his fustraition with a difficult year. Maybe a move is necessary, maybe not but this is not surprising from a 22 year old having a very disappointing year. Hopefully these struggles turn into character and mental toughness later on in his career.

  41. MMV says:

    Growing pains are part of the maturation of a professional. How you deal with those growing pains and adversary determines your impact as a player. People seem to forget Altidore had many of his own to overcome. It was well known his training habits weren’t the best and quietly frankly it cost him a season or two. He rebounded marvelously and was forced into a reality check. That contributed to a breakout season at AZ. I don’t see any reason why Shea can’t do the same. You learn from mistakes. You learn from trial by error. Shea’s been on a downward spiral but he’s far from flushed.

  42. wides says:

    MLS is a business. They are not in this to give players their shot in Europe. They are here to advance the league and grow a business.

    I guarantee nobody lodged a bid over $10 mil for Brek Shea. And let’s say for 1 minute that they did. Should MLS be obligated to sell? No way, they aren’t in it for Brek Shea’s European dreams. And Brek just signed a contract extension, which means, they can keep him for another year, or 2, and STILL get a decent transfer fee out of him.

    If Brek’s main priority was getting to Europe, than he wouldn’t have signed that extension and would’ve played out his deal like Holden and R. Clark.

  43. Brett says:

    He’s always had the look of a freelancer to me. A guy who thought highly of himself and his skills. Always running hard, but doing it because he somehow lost his positioning or gave the ball away when he had several options to relieve pressure on himself.

    Nothing against him personally, and I don’t think he’s a “bad teammate” as some people here have labeled him. What it boils down to is that players like that going on to succeed in such a team-oriented game are extremely rare and have exceptional ability. At the level he has played at in his young career, you have to ask yourself where he’d be if he had been born in England, which would be with some League 2, or worse, club.

  44. FCD96 says:

    1) Trading away Chavez
    2) Injuries to Perez, Shea, Ferreira, Villar, John, Ihemelu
    3) Lack of goals primarily due to dip in form by Shea and not having a suitable backup to Blas Perez
    4) Tactical inflexibility by Hyndman – insisting on a 4-1-4-1 regardless of available personnel, insisting on playing at least 2 holding midfielders, sometimes 3
    5) Playing Brek clearly out of position at target forward
    6) Lack of intelligent tactics – FCD has attempted to dribble past opponents many more times than any other team this year, making us look more like a pickup team than a pro team
    7) Hyndman refusing to give time to promising young players like Leyva, Luna, Top
    8) Perplexing substitutions – no offensive subs even when losing
    9) Hernandez’s ineffectiveness clear to everyone but Hyndman

  45. Joseph D'Hippolito says:


  46. Amsel says:

    Brek Shea needs a Dominic Kinnear.

  47. NARTO says:

    Send this dude to Holland. That’s straighten him up and if you’re serious about A Russian club offering 10 million for him, then MLS should have taken it.

  48. Bobo_Brazil says:

    Bobo laugh. Bobo hear today Toronto FC make bid for him. Bobo fall down and laugh.

    What they give? Bobo hear they offer allocation money and three players. Dallas not so stupid. Bobo need good laugh today. Bobo source says three players were defence. Hmmmm……..Dallas not stupid.


    Holden game got better in MLS, before he moved to Bolton. He even said it himself. MLS is the best place to Dev., if you have an attitude problem here, In europe, they will cut you.

  50. soccerroo says:

    mostly due to injuries. They planned to have Ferreira back at the beginning of the season and so when he got hurt during preaseason they only had one player to fill in. Villar was doing good until he got injured and so was Dallas. Once he was injured it was just a continuation of injuries. FCD has average 4 starter per game out up to the 4th of July game. Missing one or two guys for most of the season would be bad but there have been games this year where only 2 or 3 players were starters.

    Here is the injured list of starters: Ferreira, Villar, Shea(toe/suspension), Perez, Ihemelu, John, Warshaw, Benitez. Hernandez has been rumored to being out injured but has also played with the bad knee.

  51. Davy Crockett says:

    Player development isn’t one-size-fits-all.

    Holden developed better here, but I have a feeling Shea would develop better in Europe. Shea’s not given much slack pressure-wise to develop with FCD (i.e. make mistakes) because he’s the most talented player on the team, and they depend on him to produce. If he were backseat to a veteran, he could do his thing and learn the game better without getting absolutely railed by fans, coaches, and players when having a rough stretch.

    On the other hand, I think the motivational pressure of a European club that you mentioned would cause him to be more focused. I think Shea has mentally checked out of MLS, or at least FC Dallas. Some call that immaturity or egotism, others say it’s needing a bigger challenge. It is what it is, I’m not going to say it’s right or wrong.

  52. beachbum says:

    nice post, thanks. Kid needs an attitude adjustment, not the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard of course.

    does he do it? the question

    he’s got some fire, needs to better direct it in his preparation, my opinion

  53. wc says:

    Yeah, what FCD96 said.

  54. beachbum says:

    agree Mig22. does Coach Klinnsman shoulder some blame here? He had Shea in his grasp a ton all year, now look at him?

  55. beachbum says:

    needs to learn how to hit the player on the ground faking injury when he kicks it, as Beckham did :)

  56. beachbum says:

    we’ll take him in LA. I’d love to see him in the Galaxy kit, see Arenas work that kid

  57. Davy Crockett says:

    No, he would have been in one of the top clubs’ academies since he was 15 or so, and probably breaking through and just now getting meaningful PT or on loan.

  58. Yeppers says:

    All of you should enjoy this too… Wow, what a bad week for Brek… All of this topped off by a cover story in the Dallas alt weekly that paints him as a kid who needs a babysitter 24/7… not to mention his telling a hard to believe story about getting Garber to call Hyndman and forcing him to play Brek. wow. wow.

    link to

  59. Taylor says:

    Brek shea does not have good balls skills. He is big,fast & athletic but thats about it. He has a long ways to go technique-wise. Shea turns the ball over way too much & makes too many mistakes when he is up against quality competition.

  60. Chase says:

    Brek Shea is the great white hype. He’s a decent player in a league like the MLS but He’d get chewed to peices in europe unless its a b-league team. The guy gets way too much press.

  61. beachbum says:

    because he’s white? horsepoop. you sound bitter

  62. The Imperative Voice says:

    Holden was scoring goals on NE his first year, who Houston then played in the final. He might have been improved over time somewhat but they got an English league player and then “brought him along slowly.” Whether that’s justified is questionable IMO, because when regularly used in 2007, he rapidly out produced Mullan.

    The Dynamo have done the same thing to Jermaine Taylor vis a vis their backs. Jamaican international but somehow used as backup to Ashe, etc.

    Regarding Shea, I think it’s debatable whether the best thing for him is getting act together then going abroad, or vice versa. I personally think it would be more fruitful to get the mental aspect together here then pursue transfer so he is judged mostly on play rather than having to get his whole act together including behavior in a more demanding European environment.

  63. The Imperative Voice says:

    I think the very sort of activity you talk about is part of his problem. He went to Gunners to train then played with the U23s then FCD, with some USMNT in there. What about rest and focus on FCD? I could see where an immature kid might view FCD as the low priority. Maybe what he needs is less loaning and coddling and more weekly paycheck team accountability.

    That being said, for that to work well FCD needs to get their house in order. One could be expressing the correct emotions in the wrong place.

  64. The Imperative Voice says:

    Shea has had some assists for the senior and U23 teams, shown some flashes, and had 11 goals for Dallas last year. The issue is not hype so much as a form drop. Which requires playing well in the first place….

  65. The Imperative Voice says:

    MLS says he skipped practice today, Gasoline meet fire.

  66. The Imperative Voice says:

    Well, given day off, NM.

  67. b says:

    The difference is Shea is talented and is being mismanaged by Hyndman (who should be fired ASAP based on how he has lost control and given the team’s pathetic record over more than a full calendar year now), whereas Hernandez is a terrible soccer player best known for his reckless and clumsy tackles, so Hernandez criticizing Shea is beyond hypocritical, it is laughable and shows just how messed up things are in Dallas (where the same Hernandez who criticizes Hyndman when he is benched for good reason and criticizes Shea when he is upset at being benched without reason is also the team captain and on the coaching staff with Hyndman. How bizarre is that? Is anyone paying attention at Hunt Headquarters?

  68. b says:

    It was really minor. Shea got subbed out (in a game where he was one of the few decent offensive threats for Dallas) and said a few words to Hyndman as he walked by. Probably “you’re a crazy old man for taking me out, and because of you we’re going to lose when our freaking left back fails to convert a penalty kick.”

  69. b says:

    They were not one of the best teams last season. In fact, they were ONE OF THE WORST TEAMS in the second half. And they are THE WORST TEAM this season. So where does that leave them?

  70. b says:


    Too bad this is buried and few will see it.

  71. b says:

    Eddie Gaven is still young, too. But he is what he is and never developed into what he could have been. Gaven doesn’t have the drive, imo. How can anyone refuse a Gold Cup callup to spend time with their newborn baby (I’m sure the kid will remember it fondly)? Baseball players are usually not even present when their wives give birth, maybe they miss one game. He refused a callup to the entire Gold Cup. Have fun not improving your game in Columbus Eddie.

  72. Hogatroge Abroad says:

    I was thinking the same thing. I didn’t see the specific rant, but Hernandez is hardly the paragon of maturity.

  73. Marc says:


  74. Miguel says:


  75. Woodstalker says:

    He was out of gas by the end of last year. Kids like Shea and Agudelo need time to mature. The hype has blown their heads up.

  76. GW says:

    I Voice

    “Little known but Holden started at Sunderland after Clemson, played for their reserves, had some injuries and never got on track, then benefitted from MLS more as a fresh start than anything else. IMO Houston wasted a lot of their time with him by apprenticing him to Mullan even as he surpassed him. But my basic point is he was a known quantity with English Championship cred when he came back here.”

    Really? Read this Guardian article.

    link to

    Why did Coyle who first saw Holden on TV, not Moyes, not McCarthy or Irvine, bring him back to the UK? They would be the ones with the most familiarity with Stu.

    He may have been a known quantity but obviously it wasn’t a good enough quantity for them to bring him back to the UK. They let him stay in Texas for four years even though, with a UK passport he had no need to go through the permit process.

    If you are trying to say Houston held him back then I would say the facts do not support you.

  77. GW says:

    I guess that spells the end of Shea’s USMNT career then.

  78. GW says:

    Are you serious? One time young? Gaven is 25 right now.

    Gaven never got to even 1% of the hype and what not that has surrounded Shea.

    Gaven was 18 or so when he was first capped and has only played 8 games for the US. Brek already has four more caps and was 22 when he was first capped.

    While it seems unlikely, Gaven is still young enough so that he could still be a late bloomer and fulfill his great potential.

    As for Shea, writing him off at 22 is a blood sport for USMNT fans.

  79. GW says:

    You never get back that first day/week/month year with your kid. And maybe he won’t remember his dad being there the first day,etc. but I’ll bet his mother will.

    I’ll guess you are not married.

    There is always another Gold Cup, Gaven can shoot for.

  80. GW says:


    Disciplined, organized, well behaved players can be found or made. Talent scouts around the world look for the “freelancers”, not that Shea world class or anything like that.

    What is wrong with Shea can be fixed.

    But what is right about Shea is very hard if not out right impossible to to teach.

    You can’t really, teach size, power, speed, agression,etc. It’s what JK liked about him and it is what Shea needs to focus on getting back.

    That other stuff is incidental and can be managed if Shea wants to have a great career.

    If he does not then he deserves what he gets.
    Obscurity, Poverty, Scorn, Homelessness, etc.,etc.

  81. GW says:

    Teams buy players who can help them right now or who they can develop.

    If Shea sucks as bad as y’all seem to think he does then no Dutch team would be so stupid as to buy him.

    If a Dutch team thinks they can straighten him out, then that measn he is a “project” and therefore will not command much of a fee, certainly not 10 million, unless MLS is willing to cut their losses on Shea

    Which means Shea is stuck in Dallas.

    teamThis reminds me of those

  82. Soccer Dad of 5 says:

    FC Dallas might be reworking their team to be primarily Central and South America based team. The large Hispanic community in DFW would be that target. In order to do so, they would need their star players to agree and play into that goal. Brek has been played out of position and with a group of players that have difficulty making and receiving passes. Tonight with a field full of players with those Hispanic roots, they suddenly were able to do so. No one knows what is happening behind the scenes. Certainly, if Brek is being cut some slack, it isn’t showing externally. He may be unhappy. Some of the broadcast media has stated that the coach has been mishandling the two ‘stars’ of the team. Both of them are spending a lot of bench time. Perhaps they don’t fit into the long term – have been told so – see their careers in the trash. Yep that might cause most of us to act out a bit.

  83. Fenwick says:

    Didn’t he get hit in the Eye at a bar by a Newcastle yob and that was what derailed his career. I think he nearly lost sight in the eye.