Fans and media types alike saw this coming. They knew it was only a matter of time before Brek Shea capitalized on his incredible physical gifts and soccer talent to become an important component of the FC Dallas attack.
With his two goals in Saturday night’s 2-0 win over San Jose at Pizza Hut Park, Shea’s breakout season appears to be here. The native Texan got his first MLS tally on May 15 in a 1-1 draw at Philadelphia and now has three goals in 2010, which puts him just one behind Jeff Cunningham who leads the team with four goals [WATCH: Shea scores his first MLS goal].
After the win over the Earthquakes, Shea commented on the good run of form he is currently on.
“I think the first [professional goal] is hardest," he said in his postgame remarks to the media. “I got the first one and got two tonight. I’m feeling confident.”
His first goal against San Jose showcased a nice sequence between FCD right back Heath Pearce and central attacking midfielder David Ferreira. Pearce started things off with a nice ball to Ferreira, who held possession well on the left flank.
Ferreira held off San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski long enough to push up the touch line before laying the ball off to Shea, who was streaking toward goal just outside the six-yard box. The FCD midfielder finished the chance beautifully with his left foot.
“David [Ferreira] saw the space, played it in behind and I stuck with it—and it popped out,” Shea said. “I just put it in the back of the net.”
On his second goal, it was again Pearce and Ferreira who set the table. However, officially his tally was unassisted since it bounced off San Jose defender Chris Leitch and goalkeeper Joe Cannon.
After the win, Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman was clearly pleased with how well Shea has been playing for the last month.
“Brek was very good and the two great scoring chances he had, he put them away,” Hyndman said. “I think he has played extremely well. Dave van den Bergh played for us last year and I think he had three goals and Brek right now has three goals. He doesn’t have the assists and some of those other things, but if he can continue to improve, he could be a real good player for us.”
The 20-year-old midfielder’s performance is all the more impressive considering that his 2010 season has been somewhat of a rollercoaster. Shea was in the first 11 for the March 27 season opener against Houston and played 69 minutes.
However, after a poor week of practice, he wasn’t even on Hyndman’s 18-man game roster the following week against Columbus. He also didn’t travel to New York the week after.
Having played 17 minutes of a 2-2 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on April 22, Shea has now started seven straight games at left midfield for FCD. He attributes his recent success to something fairly simple.
“Coach has been leaving me in the lineup," Shea said. "As I keep starting, I gain more confidence. That’s definitely helped with my game.”