In each of the last three games, David Ferreira has played the hero for FC Dallas. However, in Saturday night’s 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake at Pizza Hut Park, it was the turn of fellow midfielder Brek Shea to take center stage for FCD.
Shea scored the eventual game-winner in the 69th minute, he assisted on the Atiba Harris insurance tally in the 77th minute and also made a key defensive play in the first half by clearing a header by Jamison Olave off the goal line.
“He made it a difficult night for [Robbie] Russell,” FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman said of Shea. “You always want players that are making a difference. I think tonight was an example for Brek Shea.”
Shea offered a pretty matter-of-fact assessment of his evening.
“I started off slow, missed a few. I had some bad touches and bad passes,” the FCD midfielder said. “As the game went on, I think the team got better. I got a lucky rebound and scored. I should have had some other chances.”
But Hyndman isn’t the only one who notices the sizeable contributions Shea is making to his side.
“He’s contributing a lot for us,” FCD defender Heath Pearce said. “Overall, he’s developing well and he’s become an important player for us in our attack.”
In fact, after the game, there was some lighthearted banter between Pearce and Shea about whether or not the youngster deserved an assist on Harris’ goal in the 77th minute. During the exchange, Shea admitted that even though he was credited with an assist on the score sheet, he didn’t touch the ball, which set off a reaction from his teammate, who said he didn’t want a hockey assist. He wanted a real assist.
Pearce wasn’t the only starter offering kudos to his young teammate.
“He’s been working on his game and it’s paying off this season," Harris said. "Brek is a big part of this team. Even though he’s young, he’s contributing a lot physically and mentally. He’s vocal out there as well. It’s really helping us.”
However, Shea wasn’t the only contributor Saturday night. Until he tired and had to come out for Bruno Guarda in the 72nd minute, Colombian forward Milton Rodriguez was solid in his MLS debut.
“This is really the first game he’s played in six weeks, so you expect a little bit of rustiness,” Hyndman said. “It was the first time I felt this year we went into the attacking third that we held the ball and were able to bring other people in. I thought he did a really good job of holding it and he made other players better around him.”
FCD ended RSL’s 10-match unbeaten streak with the win, a result which also keeps Jason Kreis’ side winless in Frisco. Hyndman’s club hits the road next week looking to add to its six-match unbeaten streak with a visit to BMO Field to face Toronto FC on Saturday.