Report: Shea not bitter over premature Barnsley exit

Brek Shea Barnsley 1 (Getty Images)


Brek Shea may have had a premature exit at Barnsley, but has insisted he holds no ill will over what transpired at the club.

Shea touched on the topic Wednesday of his Barnsley loan being cut short three weeks before it was scheduled to end due to an incident that he had with one of the Tykes’ fans in the aftermath of a 5-0 loss to Huddersfield Town on March 1. Shea, who is now back at Stoke City, said he no longer has animosity over what transpired at the Championship club and is focusing on his immediate future with the Potters.

“I had an altercation with a gentleman and I think the fans took it that I had a go at the club, but I was only frustrated with one guy,” Shea told “I’m over that and happy to be back at Stoke. At the time I was upset, but now I’ve left it behind me. I can’t really change what happened.

“The passion of the fans over here is crazy, in a good way, but when things don’t go their way they are upset with their players and that can get out of hand.”

Shea showed flashes in his loan at Barnsley, which was supposed to run until April 3, but he struggled with consistency. The 24-year-old winger made five starts in eight appearances, but did not register a goal or an assist.

Regardless, Shea is now looking to either earn some playing time with Stoke down the stretch of the Premiership campaign or move on loan again in an effort to raise his chances of representing the U.S. Men’s National Team at this summer’s World Cup.

“I’ve had a lot of experiences, whether good or bad, and I’ve got to learn from them,” said Shea. “Hopefully, I can earn a spot in this team. I have to keep my head down, work hard and hope I get my chance. I have to show the gaffer I am good enough to play.”

“I need to be playing for the World Cup. I really want to go because I enjoy playing for my country.”


What do you think of Shea’s comments? Does he have a realistic chance of earning minutes at Stoke this season? Is a loan his safest bet to help his chances of making the World Cup roster?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, Featured. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Report: Shea not bitter over premature Barnsley exit

  1. Troy says:

    Yeah, no biggie. It’s not like there were any severed animal heads involved!

  2. Gerard D. says:

    “At the time I was upset, but now I’ve left it behind me. I can’t really change what happened.”

    Oh it was the fans fault they didn’t understand that when you flipped them off it was… not flipping them off? Zero accountability. Zero responsibility. Just an immature, arrogant child.

    Cut him, Stoke.

    • Fred says:

      I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. It sounds like he was responding to a single fan who was abusing his teammate, and he feels this was misconstrued as an attack on Barnsley fans generally.

    • bryan says:

      He made it clear the bird was for the single fan harassing his teammate.

    • M says:

      You post is immature and lacks any thought. Ives ban Gerald

    • Nate Dollars says:

      so…he’s accepted his consequences without animosity, is not dwelling on what he can’t change now, and is focusing on the future, and yet you’re calling him immature and arrogant.

      • Gerard D. says:

        He blamed the fans.

        • Jesse D says:

          where do you see that? He said a fan got under his skin and he reacted. Bad form on his part, he apologized. Brek screwed up, he should not have allowed a fan to rattle him and Barnsley had every right to send him packing. Brek has accepted that he can’t change what he did. Face it Gerard, reading comprehension was never one of your strengths.

        • no says:

          Still waiting for a link to the alleged video. Let’s see where he’s gesture was clearly directed to all the fans and not just one. Come on, genius, where’s that link.

    • Rory Miller says:

      I hope Stoke does cut him… so he can quickly sign up with an MLS team for about $300,000 a year and get back to looking great against mediocre competition. Just about every MLS team would be better with him now.

  3. Audrel says:

    I’m sure the Barnsley fans will be relieved to hear this.
    This guy is the biggest Jack Wad in the world.

    • Rory Miller says:


      I mean the Premier league fans heap praises on people like Steven Gerrard who beats up a DJ for not playing the song he wanted to hear, John Terry who parks in handicapped spots, pees on nightclub floors, and sleeps with teammates wives, Joey Barton who beats the hell out of people then quotes some dead philosophers to sound smart, but hey, Brek Shea flipped some fans off: he’s a MONSTER!

      • Jesse D says:

        kid has proven to be immature. You’ve pointed to some clear examples that he is not the only one. BTW, the English media lit up each of those guys you mention. They didn’t “get away with it”.

        • Rory Miller says:

          Well even though I said Premier League Fans and you took that to mean media (although to be honest, you’re not that far off), I just want to note that both continued be clamored for by the fans. Very popular, except maybe Terry a bit because he’s getting old and slow.

          In any case legally speaking many of them did, in fact, get away with it. It seems the jury of their peers turned out to be just as repugnant as the offenders.

          • Jesse D says:

            One difference is all of those guys are heck of a lot more talented than Brek. People with exception talent get exceptional breaks. That unfortunately is the case in every sport, business, and facet of life.

            Brek isn’t in any legal trouble here either, he just got sent packing. If Brek was Eden Hazard, he would apologize and then go back on the field and win the fans over again. NFL teams cut the less talented headaches, but put up with the antics of superstar athletes.

            Rory, I think we agree, Barnsley fans aren’t truly that offended, but a few might be and with Brek not adding that much anyway it was an easy PR move to send him back to Stoke.

  4. Chicago Josh says:

    Big, fast, and left-footed…with zero soccer sense, dumb as a bag of rocks, and as mature as my seven year-old (but NOT my ten year-old). No way Stoke plays him for the rest of the year. Walk away from this kid, Klinsi. He’s not worth it.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Julian Green can’t start for us tomorrow so ignore him too?

      Freddy Adu may be the poster child for potential not turning out but it’s silly to ignore potential, as long as we have a reality check of how he’s performing. Klinsi seems attuned to the relatively production he gets, and Shea is primarily on the periphery these days.

      But there is no need to exclude him from the pool, you just are mindful of what he is when camp cuts come, and if he’s not better than the next guy he stays home. But we shouldn’t cut him because he gets in a fight with a fan on duty for another team.

      • James says:

        Typical Americans.

        Brek Shea is 24.

        Twenty ******* four.

        There is no more potential there.

        • John Lowe says:


          Typical Know it all.

          You ever hear of Neuroplasticity? Yes the brain can learn at any age. So yes you can have potential at any age. Even in football.

          • James says:

            You’re right, look at all these current great players who couldn’t even impress in the Championship at 24 but later realized their potential:

            • Jesse D says:

              Actually James, have you ever heard of guys named Drogba, Klose, Luca Toni,or DJ Campbell? Some guys do develop late.

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              They applauded his initial game and ended the loan for the antics, which were likely to result in a suspension FWIW.

              • The Imperative Voice says:

                That is, if a significant suspension is about to defeat the point of the loan, you end the loan. After several games your cellar dwelling team would get him back with just weeks in the season and you’d have to try and reintegrate him while fighting relegation. They arguably chose, as with Dempsey, to stick to the players they can depend on being there, since every point will matter and you don’t want to lose relegation because Shea gets a red or makes a Vertonghen-type poor pass out of lack of integration.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          He plays well in some games not others. That means some of the potential is already manifest. Even if I accepted your argument it ignores that some of his problem is consistency, that he is not a never was.

          Also, if some of the issue is maturity, that can be found and might unleash potential. My experience was even as I fell apart physically my technique kept improving, well into my 20s.

          It’s fair to say nothing dramatic might happen but my comparison would be players like Dempsey who go from show offs to more restrained and higher work rate players.

    • CS says:

      But have you seen his art?

  5. rees says:

    He left for England when his confidence was low, and he’s never recovered it. The pressure of playing in England, the scrutiny the fans and the media put on players has been too much for Brek. Come home, friend. Dallas will welcome you back w/ open arms. Rebuild your confidence in MLS.

    • islandofmind says:

      I believe FCD got a transfer fee for Brek, so if he comes back I think several teams would be after him.

  6. user222 says:

    Brek makes more headline news with his off-field shenanigans than with his on-field play.

    He can only be a 30-45 minutes player, but even at that he doesn’t hustle at defense.

    It’s natural selection… most people in the world are righties… there are not many left-footer soccer players out there…. but JK knows how to use him and that’s why he still has a chance.

  7. blokhin says:

    is Brek Shea is the answer to anything regarding USMNT, I don’t want to know the question

    • iggy says:

      Which players in the USMNT pool in the last 6 months have no business making the trip to Brazil? ……there you go!

    • Jesse D says:

      which US eligible players are tall, blonde and left footed?

      • Rory Miller says:

        Who was the first player born in the 1990’s to play on the USMNT?

        Who scored the winning goal of the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup to give the US a birth in the playoff final to see who goes to the 2017 Confederations Cup.

        Who scored the game-winning goal in a group stage match against Costa Rica in the 2013 Concacaf Gold Cup?

        Let’s not forget that he has played a role in our program’s success just because it looks like he will not be a big part going forward.

        • Jesse D says:

          I still root for the young man. If Brek could find a little form, he is actually a threatening late game wing presence. There was a time when I thought he would be a starter for the 2014 World Cup (about 2 years ago). We can hope that a late maturity hits him. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him.

  8. the original jb says:

    There are two sides to every story, so how about fan behavior (in all sports). Does paying for a ticket give fans the right to scream every filthy obscenity one can come up with at players and refs? I wonder how many of those that do that constantly have ever played on a big stage or (even harder) tried to referee?

    So Brek flipped off a rude fan who was screaming at his teammate, sure he should have handled it better. Hopefully he learns from it. But I’m sorry, some of the scathing comments I’ve heard sound a little too self-righteous to me.

    • SilverRey says:

      My thinking is kind of along these lines. If it were just him going mono e mono on a fan Cantona style that’s one thing, but he was sticking up for a teammate.

      Is Shea stupid? I don’t think anyone’s arguing that. But it was a heartfelt stupid, which I can overlook.

      • M says:

        The holly than Thou bullsh*t that is posted by some on this site is laughable. yea Brek shouldn’t have not have flip some fan off… so what they kicked him off the team.. he is a big boy and will deal with the consequences.

    • usaalltheway says:

      AMEN jb!!

      Seriously, what’s up with calling Brek out all while ignoring the fan’s behavior.

      Let’s hold only one person responsible for what happened between two. Yeah, that makes sense.

      He needs to think more before he does things, but I can’t blame him one bit for what happened. If someone is an ass to me, I also have trouble not responding. Not to mention, all he did was give the finger. How sensitive are these fans anyway?

      • you whinging whoers says:

        yeah so what. 1st the poor barnsley fans who had to endure the shame of a middle finger-oh the pain! 2nd all you slicing him…as if you’ve never been angry and made an emotional response (like were all doing now) . if we were held accountantable for our comments 80% on here would be ejected!

        • usaalltheway says:

          Meh…”held accountable” for disagreeing with you guys…

          Jesus, some people have real issues.

          I don’t see eye to eye with you about football (soccer) and you think that attacking me personally, bullying and nastiness make you right?

          Peace be with you lost soul. You have much bigger issues than football.

          • mike says:

            I think whoer was agreeing g with meathead

          • John Lowe says:

            he was on your side dude!

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Ah geez that’s embarrassing. What’s the cheesy saying, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.” When mad dog accusations start flying, best to look in the mirror, you might just be talking about yourself. I say this from personal experience of course… I’ve spoken before thinking way too much and made rash posts without proofreading myself. Which leads one to think… when are the &^%$ are they ever going to save me from myself and put an edit function on here anyhow?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I agree with what you are saying as a general moral and reality point, but from a professionalism standpoint the English like to think of themselves as requiring gentlemanly standards, ie, rising above moral equivalence. And even in the US it wouldn’t be condoned because crowd melees threaten the cash machine. Bourgeois fans go to sports because they see themselves as safe, fun places. If fan-fan or fan-athlete violence is a problem you might affect ticket sales. So you’re supposed to leave the fans alone out of self interest.

      • mike says:

        effect Tim sales? please! fans love a little action. what bout quenelle-anelka? fines sure. released from the team? from baaarnsley? good riddance cellar dwellers.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          At a limited level of violence things would be fine, but you go zero tolerance because if you start having crowd melees where people got hurt or killed, then people stop showing up.

          I also think you’re conflating the ice hockey sensibility of watching violence from behind glass with the more intimate concern of a player assaulting a fan or even going up into the stands. Remember the whole Pacers – Pistons thing in 2004. Artest missed the rest of the season, many lower suspensions, criminal charges, etc.

          • Rory Miller says:

            The worst part about Artest thing was that the dbag who threw the beer at him saw Artest heading his way and pointed to an innocent guy next to him to blame him for the beer, then Artest pummeled the wrong guy. I think that says a lot about your fans who want a “limited level of violence.”
            They want to brag to their friends about how crazy it was but they want nothing to do with the reprecutions of their actions. That’s why zero tolerance is in place, it’s the only way to keep this crap from getting out of hand with people who want to act like idiots then not be blamed.
            Heck, we don’t even need to talk about the soccer disaster at Heysel do we? Chase some people then scream “it wasn’t our fault the wall collapsed simply because it got too much weight on it when people were running from our attempt to beat the heck out of them”.

  9. Skyman says:

    Yeah I agree he is not the smartest footballer in the world, but when he plays for the Nats, his fearlessness, speed, and unpredictibity causes problems. Who else has that package? No one in the pool, and so he goes to Brazil unless he loses all playing time

    • JayAre says:

      We have other players that can do that consistently. You’re just mesmerize when shea does it because he plays so bad through the whole game

      • John says:

        Like who?

        • Increase0 says:

          Castilo has a lot of fearlessness, speed, and unpredictability. He causes problems too. Sadly he is a defender and a lot of those problems are created for us.

          Oddly I like Castillo. I wish there was a way to play him in midfield. However, I get the idea he just can’t defend/track back at all. Jurgen likes his wingers to play hard both ways which is why Zusi is always on the right wing.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            he’s not a defender

          • Nate Dollars says:

            sorry, to clarify: he’s a winger, who has played as a left back in a league not really known for it’s defense. he’s not currently playing as a left back for anyone anymore, but as a left mid.

        • JayAre says:

          Donovan, Corona, F. Johnson, Bedoya, Zusi and Castillo can create consistent offense and are able defensively (except Castillo). Shea has enormous potential don’t get me wrong but he has to be consistent with it. Personally I think he’s a victim of the team he plays on. Bundesliga would really fit his game.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Donovan should be pretty sharp on the wing come WC as that appears to be where he’ll be spending most of his time w/ club. Think Zusi and Bedoya are pretty assured of a spot. As tantalizing as Shea’s occasional bursts of motivation and brightness are…. I’d take Corona over him any day. Not only can he create shots/offense for himself, he has great vision and a nice array of touch passes to create for his team mates.

            • GW says:

              Corona, Zusi, Bedoya,and for that matter, Magee are the same player, more or less.i.e. attacking midfielders/forwards who are occasionally used on the wing but are not really wingers and are probably most comfortable operating in the middle.

              Shea is a winger, a very direct one and offers something few others do a willingness to just go straight at the enemy.

              You don’t need to think a lot to do what he does best and I’d prefer if he did not since it is the equivalent of Hulk smash.

              Which is not to say he is stupid as most of you seem to think. After all he is getting paid a lot of money to do something most of you would do for a lot less or maybe even for free. And he has a shot at being in a World Cup.

              That must really grate on those of you who despise this kid so much.

              • whoop-whoop says:

                Well… speaking for myself, I don’t despise the kid at all, nor do I disagree with too much that you said. Brek certainly didn’t do himself any favors, but I I could care less about the recent incident, honestly want the best from him as he has tools unique in our pool. It’s just… over the last year due to injury, transfers etc etc, he hasn’t had much playing time and when he has he hasn’t shown much. Now that he is back at Stoke, it is highly likely that he will sit until WC time. All that said, going to be hard to justify bringing him over some of the others mentioned. I hope I am wrong… I honestly hope he manages to find a way into the lineup and lights it up.

    • AcidBurn says:

      Yup, Klinsy loves some Rooster sauce when he needs to spice up a dull match. For some reason he sees his height and left foot and forgets that Shea has no soccer brain.

      • GW says:

        “Shea has no soccer brain.”

        JK with 47 goals, is the fourth all time leading scorer for Germany.

        Do you know who is number one? It”s Gerd Muller with 68 goals.

        A ridiculously prolific scorer, a lot of people said the same thing about him that you said about Shea.

  10. cps says:

    He should be bitter about not being good at soccer.

  11. JayAre says:

    This guy is one of a kind. I don’t know what goes on in his head one thing is for sure thou, his game is a reflection of his attitude Up and Down

  12. John says:

    I also noticed Shea was the first and perhaps only player who had Dempsey’s back when the shoving broke out against Ukraine. Sometimes you want someone who is going to have your team mates back. However maybe other times you can be a little too ready to jump in the middle.

  13. Bruce S says:

    Brek might be too stupid to be a good pro athlete.

  14. Tequila Sunrise says:

    Expatt4455 your being quiet today about Brek Shea. Not spouting off a million times like you did on the Shea article a few days ago. Whats wrong? Too early in the day to be in the proper frame of mind to write wacky comments?

    • Expat4455 says:

      LOL, yeah, although I did give a comment +1 above. I am in a Julian Green talking mood today.

      With Shea, I do hope he gets some playing time in soon but it doesn’t look good.

  15. Phlub says:

    I read he gave the fan the V sign, not the bird. Which leaves me to believe he’s smart enough to know how to piss off a Brit.

    Either way, this stuff happens to a lot of footballers. Maturity and patience are rarely traits of professional athletes. Brek has great energy and talent, and has played with consistency when he’s given consistent playing time (Dallas). You can trust Klinsman (and Stoke who originally recruited him for a reason) on this.

    Given the playing time opportunities leading up to the WC, he can prove that he deserves to be there. Otherwise, it’s going to be tough. This might mean his desperate situation leads him back to Championship or MLS, so be it… Baring a major injury at Stoke, I don’t see him making it — even onto the bench — this season.