Shea suffers knee injury in Stoke City friendly vs. Union

Brek Shea Stoke City (Getty Images)


Brek Shea might be in for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Two days after scoring the game-winner in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 1-0 win over Panama in the Gold Cup final, Shea suffered a knee injury in Stoke City’s 2-0 friendly win against the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday.

Shea suffered the knock that is being described as a “knee ligament injury” by Stoke not long after scoring the second goal in the first half of a match played at PPL Park. The 23-year-old Shea was tackled by Union midfielder Matt Kassel and was subsequently subbed off in the 33rd minute.

“I thought it was a very, very poor challenge by the boy,” Stoke City manager Mark Hughes told reporters. “What the hell he was thinking of, I have no idea. … (Shea is) disappointed, I think we all are, because it was a poor challenge. You don’t expect that.

“It’s a friendly game. You need to protect your fellow professional, and I don’t think the guy did that. Don’t know who he was. Maybe he was trying to make a name for himself, I don’t know. He went the wrong way about it.”

Shea left the stadium on crutches and talked to reporters about being upset with the situation but not angry at Kassel over the challenge. Shea will still, however, have to await a scan to determine the severity of his latest injury, one that comes just weeks before the start of the new Premiership campaign.

For his part, Shea took the injury in stride, and wouldn’t criticize Kassel for the tackle.

“Obviously I’m pretty upset right now,” Shea said after the match. “I was excited to get back to Stoke and get ready for the season. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it feels.

“When I was walking off, he apologized. And I said ‘(stuff) happens’.”


What do you think of Shea’s injury? Think there’s no chance of him starting Stoke’s season opener now? Wondering why it is Shea seems to have so much bad luck?

Share your thoughts below.

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80 Responses to Shea suffers knee injury in Stoke City friendly vs. Union

  1. Sly says:

    Stay Classy Union. Stay Classy.

    • bryan says:

      to be fair, Philly fans apparently did boo the tackle.

      • Eurosnob says:

        to be fair, Philly fans will boo anyone – didn’t they boo Santa and pelt him with snowball at the Eagles game?

        • bryan says:

          lol probably. i believe it.

        • Ryan says:

          ^Says a guy who has probably never been to Philadelphia. Not to take away from what happened at this game, but your snowball story has been so exaggerated over the years to give Philly a bad reputation. That incident occurred December 15, 1968 and happened because it was snowing so bad, the Santa the Eagles hired to show up at half time could not make it in. Instead they grabbed a drunk, pathetic looking guy dressed like Santa in the stands and told him to get out there. His drunken appearance started the snowball pelting, but it was more playful, less malicious.

          • David says:

            Go ahead and defend Philly fans for cheering Michael Irvin in a neck brace. I’ve been up to Philly for a few games and they aren’t worse than NY/Bos fans as far as heckling, but don’t pretend the perception isn’t partially blamed on reality.

        • MitchRapp17 says:


    • dan says:

      typical Union, classless team with terrible tackles

      you just screwed over your own national team this time idiots

  2. PFG says:

    No big deal. There are hundreds of USNT scouts all over the world looking for his replacement.

  3. Clover362 says:

    Bad news for Shea personally and for the depth of the USMNT pool.

    On the otherwise it highlights an important issue that IMO is holding MLS back. The refereeing in MLS is terrible. The ref’s consistantly let too many things go and don’t give cards often enough. As a result MLS is a pretty brutal league that diminishes the quality of play. The league has to fix this problem to continue to improve.

    • Brain Guy says:

      See Alvarez vs. Cahill (who now has a torn PCL and will miss a month). Yellow (not red) for studs-up assault on knee.

    • dan says:

      I can’t agree with this more, the MLS is ridiculous for how much they let go. It takes a lot away from the technical players and makes it a brutal sometimes boring league

  4. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    How did Shea get injured after “scoring the second goal in the first half” of a 2-0 loss? Was it an own goal? Also, does anyone have a link to a video of the tackle? Just curious if it was zealous or reckless.

    • BFBS says:

      Stoke won 2-0 (there’s a typo in Franco’s story).

    • BFBS says:

      Also, the entire game is on YouTube. Just type in Stoke City Union as search terms

      • Bac says:

        I looked on the youtube video, and at the moment of the tackle, the video cut away to a Union “Raffle Promotion” for about 10 seconds and when the video returned Shea was on the ground & the ref was pulling out a yellow card,
        If theres a different feed I cant find it

  5. Alejandro says:

    Kassel is a jealous joke who never made it.
    Red Bull reject

  6. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    Franco, this paper says Stoke won: link to

    Might want to double check your source. Not that it changes the injury, which sucks for Brek and Stoke, and the USMNT. Hope he can get healthy in time for at least a few preseason matches.

  7. 2tone says:

    That effectively knocks him out of the Bosnia friendly.

    • Leo says:

      I would think that, despite his game winners, he wouldn’t have been called for them anyway. From an outsider’s perspective, Klinsmann may have wanted him to spend more time with his club to build on the few personal achievements he attained during the Gold Cup stretch.

  8. Pride of Chester says:

    I was at the match last night…..horrible decision from Kassel, dude was beyod late and slid full force through the back of Shea’s legs. Should of been a red but was a yellow instead. Kassel then was booed by his own fans when he received the ball for the remainder of the half.

    • alex says:

      I was at the same game. You are just buying into the sensationalism of the whole thing. Amazing how this article left out the quotes by Shea that said he has made worst tackles himself. This stuff happens in football. And if Kassel was booed…it must have been by a few people because I heard nothing.

      • SoB says:

        I was at the game. Stoke played far more roughly than we did. That was not the only bad tackle from either side. Kassel was going for the ball whereas most of the Stoke players were searching for contact at every opportunity. Kassel made a poor choice on the tackle but for Hughes to totally ignore the thuggish behavior of his own players in a “friendly” is horse shit. They scored both of their goals in the first half when we played our reserves including a striker at CB. They were in a defensive shell against our 1st team in the second half.

    • dan says:

      He deserves an MLS ban for that shit and Philly should have to pay to treat Shea. The tackle was absolutely atrocious, especially when you take into account that it was a FRIENDLY.

      I didn’t hear many people booing though…

  9. IvanRG says:

    This sucks. I hope this Kessel guy gets fined.

    • Mike R says:

      Fined? I hope he gets fired or his legs broken any Philly friendlies vs Dejong brothers coming up?

  10. Del Griffin says:

    This sucks! Another reason I hate Philly. Awful place. Any word on severity?

    Also, to the guy from yesterday, can you get him an appt with Dr Andrews, miracle worker? Also, can you tell me some unrelated injuries that you some how relate to this one?

    • Bill Brasky says:

      Do you hate Chicago as well since Holden just got hurt there?

      • Del Griffin says:

        Chicago is not bad. People are nice, food and city are good. Can’t say same about Philly. Probably second worst large city in USA next to Baltimore.

        • Bill Brasky says:

          You must be going to the wrong places whenever you’re in Philly because it’s a terrific city with tons of great restaurants. And the people there are no different than any other large US city.

          • bryan says:

            Philly sports fans are ABSOLUTELY some of the worse. they are disgusting. Eagles games are terrible if you are an away fan. feel like a US fan in Azteca.

            i remember the story of two Nats fans, daughter/father, at a Phillies game in Philly. two Philly fans decided it would be a good idea to make themselves throw up and ensure it got on the Nats fans. and there are a ton of other examples.

            i mean, the Eagles have a drunk tank, a legit one, INSIDE the stadium. Philly is a fun city to visit, but the fans there are the opposite of classy. just don’t be an away fan there.

          • bryan says:

            Philly sports fans are ABSOLUTELY some of the worse. they are disgusting. Eagles games are terrible if you are an away fan. feel like a US fan in Azteca.

            i remember the story of two Nats fans, daughter/father, at a Phillies game in Philly. two Philly fans decided it would be a good idea to make themselves throw up and ensure it got on the Nats fans. and there are a ton of other examples.

            i mean, the Eagles have a drunk tank, a legit one, INSIDE the stadium. Philly is a fun city to visit, but the fans there are the opposite of cl@ssy. just don’t be an away fan there.

            • Bill Brasky says:

              The Eagles do not have a drunk tank at Lincoln Financial. There was a courtroom at the Vet and when the Linc opened in 2003, this was no longer needed. So that hasn’t been in place for 10 years.

              I agree that some Philly sports fans are terrible, but they are in the minority.

              • bryan says:

                it did at one point:

                “Like the Vet, Lincoln Financial Field had a jail inside the stadium, that contained four cells. However, this jail was done away within two years as the level of unruly behavior had dropped considerably from the worst days of the Vet.”

                they decided to get rid of it because Philly fans graduated from degenerates to trashy. fine. still shows what Philly fans are like. and don’t they still have an in-house judge???

            • Mike R says:

              + 1000000
              After seeing the Blackhawks win th Stanley cup in Philly then Boston their was a big difference in class. Philly has none

            • Bill Brasky says:

              Why let facts get in the way of your original post that the Linc “has a drunk tank” when it’s been gone for 10 years?

              • bryan says:

                you Philly fans don’t get it. the fact that you even had one, PERIOD, is the point. and you STILL have an in-house judge.

                be proud.

              • Todd C says:

                We “get it” Bryan (with a Y). A few bad apples and occurrences from 40 years ago constantly re-hashed is ridiculous. Philly has an extremely passionate fan base for all our sports teams. Yes, there have been awful examples of fans doing terrible things but that happens in every city. It’s unjustly magnified by the media and people that don’t really “get it”. You worry about your own “city” wherever that may be and contribute something relevant. Typical clown comment bro.

          • HoboMike says:

            The people are no different; however, the sports fans are. Philly sports fans get a weird sense of pride in being known as degenerates towards fans of other teams.

        • Matt Kassel says:

          Buffalo has something to say about that

          • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

            So does Detroit

            • Del Griffin says:

              Detroit is a third world city at this point and buffalo doesn’t count, too small. Philly is the imperfect combo of visible crime and blight, rude people and unbearable accents. A true paradise.

              • Todd C says:

                I have a feeling “too small” is a saying Del Griffin hears too regularly…and by “regularly” I mean once every 3 years when he gets lucky in whatever podunk town he’s spewing nonsense from.

        • Mwing09 says:

          Baltimore here. I hate you too, Del Griffin.

    • Todd C says:

      It’s totally the city of Philadelphia’s fault that this bum poorly tackled Shea? Get a clue Del Griffin et all. Philly is a terrific city with top notch everything from food to sports. The stereotypes that you suburban American’s feed into regarding Philly and other cities are ridiculous. Yes, Eagles games are not 100% friendly for away fans. That’s just the way it is and will be. Take a look at soccer anywhere else in the world and away fans aren’t even allowed to attend or sit in the same sections as home fans. Get a dog losers. DOOP!

      • Lprevolution says:

        I’m sorry that I can’t stop doing this.

        No Todd. It WAS the city of Philadelphia’s fault.

        This thread is awesome today.

    • Easily says:

      Well you just saw a case of ligament damage caused by contact. Not so unusual. Since you like critiquing so many American cities, what is the name of the turd patch you call home Mr Small D?

  11. Andrew says:

    Union put a banner for a 50/50 tackle up over the footage of the tackle on the youtube clip. Pretty gutless.

    • Bill Brasky says:

      You mean 50/50 raffle, correct?

    • Earl says:

      Not true… this match was not broadcast on tv. This is the footage from the in house video screen at PPL. An ad happened to be up when this occurred.

      • Charles says:

        I don’t know Earl, another blog said check on the time frame for footage of the tackle…then I got there and there is a lotto ad ?

        Why would the other site say check it out when it was advertised over ? Doesn’t make sense.

    • AD22 says:

      Read up a bit there, sunshine. The stream was pulled from the in-stadium video board, and just so happened to have the 50/50 ad put up at the same time. It’s not like there was any attempt to hide the tackle.

  12. matt k says:

    Matt Kassel sucks. This loser belongs in the minor leagues…

  13. Mike in Missouri says:

    First Chandler on Omar, now Cassell on Shea.

  14. Bac says:

    To everyone who has already predicted their Brazil final 23 list, to everyone who question the reasoning behind Jurgen bringing in the roster he did to the Gold Cup, to everyone who questioned why Jurgen played so many players over the last 18 months to take a lookk at, to everyone who for whatever reason has some issue with dual Nationals ( which I think is ridiculous)…..


    This is why you build depth… Brazil is a long way off, and lets hope we dont get more news like this over the next year, but the old addage prevails, prepare for the worst, hope for the best…

    • MN Footie says:


      You are an oracle. That is all.

      (I still like trying to guess the 23 man roster, though, even if it’s next to impossible.)

  15. Jack says:

    Huge union fan here who was at that game. That challenge was terrible from Kassel. I never liked Kassel and Shea is one of my favorite MNT players which makes this incident even worse. Another thing is we did boo Kassel after the tackle and when Brek was limping back to the locker room the entire crowd was chanting USA. So don’t call us a terrible city without knowing all the facts. However I do agree that the challenge was bad and I honestly thought Kassel was going to be sent off (in a friendly! Imagine that) I just hope Brek is ok we need him for th USMNT

    • Jack says:

      My defense towards Philly is to the few bashing Philly on the comments.

    • Charles says:

      The ones who do fan bashing are id iots. Have fun playing on their low IQ and ignore them the rest of the time.

      -The Sounders fan who invented soccer

  16. Kosh says:

    I dunno. I’ve been to a few Union games wearing my DC United Jersey (and even when we’ve won) I have not had to deal with any nonesense from Union fans.

    That said I have not been to NFL, NBA, NHL or whatever the baseball league is called games. So I am not sure what manner of fan commons those grounds. But I can vouch for the Union fans they seem to be a fun bunch actually.

    • Kosh says:

      Oh and get well soon, Brek. Best wishes for a speedy recovery and to see you making some elbow room on that deep US roster.

  17. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    Any idea when the MRI will be done?

  18. Mike R says:

    Kassel sucks !!! This is what sucks about MLS too much hack a man. I would encourage any top prospect to stay away from MLS and try Spain Holland or Portugal . Why tackle like that in a fricking friendly !!!!

  19. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Any word on time frame!?!?

  20. sean says:

    This will keep happening until MLS get their Referee problems under control.

  21. Andy N says:

    The 10 months before the World Cup are literally just ‘please-don’t-get-injured’ time. It sucks. Remember the last cycle with Davies car crash, Holden’s broken leg and that scare with Dempsey where we thought he suffered serious knee damage?

    Enjoy the next 10 months USMNT folks. Right now, if no one else significant gets injured, I’ll call the next 10 months a success.

  22. Smith says:

    I saw Matt Kassel pay in the RBNY Academy. He was a mediocre hack then, He is a sub-par hack now.

  23. Bean says:

    Well that escalated quickly.

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