Shea relegated to bench in tough 33-day stretch
FRISCO, Texas — It’s been a rough 33 days for Brek Shea. Sure, the FC Dallas midfielder did get his first career cap with the US national team, starting and playing the first half in an Oct. 12 friendly against Colombia. But a red card in the 29th minute against the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 16 has seen his playing time in Frisco dwindle.
Not only did Shea receive his automatic one-game suspension for his tackle on Chris Albright, but he also received an extra game for shoving a referee.
“There’s nothing I can do about it,” Shea said. “Every player gets red cards in his career. It happens. You’ve just got to minimize them and try not to do it again.”
In Shea’s enforced absence, Marvin Chavez has filled in on the left side of midfield for FCD and even scored against Kansas City on Sept. 25. Shea became available in the club’s next match against their Brimstone Cup rivals Chicago Fire on Oct. 2. But FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman again went with Chávez, who rewarded his coach’s faith with another goal.
Shea did come off the bench and played the final 21 minutes against the Fire. He also played 30 minutes last weekend against the Rapids, but wasn’t summoned for Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake.
“Sitting on the bench and not being able to help the team has definitely been frustrating, especially having to sit out two games and then coming back, being eligible and still not playing,” Shea said.
Shea, who has four goals and five assists this year, has helped his team to a playoff berth and an MLS record 19-game unbeaten streak. He has also started 21 games for the club.
“It was different,” Shea said of coming off the bench. “You get less time and have to be ready as soon as you get in to play. It’s definitely different than starting because you’ve got to know your role from that moment and play well.”
“I think Marvin’s done great,” Shea said of his current replacement. “He earned that spot when I messed up. In three games, he got two goals and an assist. So, he earned it. There’s nothing I can say about it.”
Dallas has earned a spot in the postseason, but their opponent has yet to be determined. A Sunday tilt with the Western Conference leading LA Galaxy will go a long way to determine FCD’s playoff destiny. Whatever happens, though, Shea plans to be ready.
“When I get a chance to start and play again, hopefully I play well and will start for the playoffs,” Shea said after practice on Monday. “That’s my goal – to help the team out.”
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