Shea joins USMNT for upcoming European friendlies
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea will join the U.S. National Team for its upcoming November friendlies against France and Slovenia, according to the roster released by U.S. Soccer today.
Following the two U.S. fixtures, Shea will join English Premier League side Arsenal FC for a month as a guest before returning home to Dallas in December. The decision to send Shea to train with the Gunners was made after U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann encouraged his MLS-based players to spend the off-season training overseas to enter January camp in top shape.
“Brek matured as a player and as a leader on the field this past season. It was a career year for him,” said FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman. “He consolidated himself as one of the top players in MLS and solidified his role with the U.S. National Team. Affording Brek the opportunity to continue to work on improving his game and measure himself among the best players in the world is something we are all excited about. It’s a winning situation for Brek, FC Dallas and the U.S. team, as the extra training time will help push his game to the next level.”
Arsenal was chosen as the location for Shea to train based on the strong relationship between the two clubs.
“We want to give Brek every opportunity to grow and develop his skills as a player,” said FC Dallas President and CEO Doug Quinn. “His goal is always to be better than he was the season before. With an MVP-caliber season in 2011 and his growing international success, we want to get him the challenges and environment he needs to continue improving as one of the best young players in American soccer today.”
In 2011, Shea started 30 MLS games for FC Dallas, recording 11 goals and four assists, including a league-leading five game-winning goals and two game-winning assists. The 21-year-old Texan also worked his way into a consistent role with the U.S. National Team, earning six caps and five starts for his country. He earned an assist on Aug. 10 when he set up a goal by Robbie Rogers in a 1-1 draw with Mexico.
Shea is one of 22 players Klinsmann named to his squad for the pair of November fixtures. The U.S. will first face France on Nov. 11 in Paris. Kickoff at the famed Stade de France is set for 2 p.m. CT (9 p.m. local time), and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, ESPN3, Univision and Univision.com.
Four days later, the U.S. plays Slovenia for the first time since the 2-2 draw in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Coverage from Stozice Stadium in Ljubljana begins at Noon CT (6 p.m. local) on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Galavision. Fans can follow both matches live on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker and Twitter @ussoccer.
The team will begin gathering Nov. 7 in Paris for the final matches for the U.S. Men’s National Team this year. There is only one further international fixture date between now and the training camp in May of 2012, which begins final preparations for the start of World Cup qualifying. Should any MLS-based players on the roster be involved in the 2011 MLS Cup that takes place Nov. 20 in Carson, Calif., they will be released following the match against France. Shea will report back to FC Dallas on January 15, 2012 for the start of the team’s preseason.