FRISCO, Texas - It was an eventful day for Brek Shea and the U.S. U-23s on Wednesday.
The American midfielder scored the game winner and was sent off with his second caution – all against his current club.
In a scrimmage that featured nine bookings and two ejections, Caleb Porter’s side survived against FC Dallas in Frisco for a 2-1 victory.
“It was fun to play against my friends and teammates,” Shea said following the scrimmage. “It got a little rough out there today. We like to battle, but probably a little too much today.”
The midfielder was first booked in the 27th minute for an aggressive trip of FCD teammate Zach Loyd. Shea and Loyd, who both trained with the U.S. senior team in January, played a physical game throughout the day.
Shea chalked it up to two competitors who like to battle. FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman, however, was somewhat surprised by the physicality of the matchup.
“They’re both head bangers,” Hyndman said with a smirk. “I thought they both had some good battles. I was surprised that they were going at each other as hard as they did considering they are teammates. They both want to compete.”
Loyd and Shea have been teammates with FC Dallas since 2010 and both had breakout seasons in 2011. Though the two are good friends off the field, things changed when lined up face-to-face, even in a preseason scrimmage.
“We’re good friends outside, but as soon as the whistle blows inside the lines, it’s business,” said Loyd. “We don’t take anything personal. We’re both very aggressive players and we mix it up a lot in practice, so I was expecting it to be like that.”
The teams traded goals in the opening 20 minutes on corner kicks, but Shea provided a golden opportunity to break the tie before the half. Shea and Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman collided at the top of the box in an attempt to play a high ball, but Hartman was called for the foul. Midfielder Freddy Adu opted to take the penalty kick, but Hartman turned away the waist-high blast to the right side.
Adu returned the favor in the 51st minute, playing a long ball to Shea behind the Dallas defense at the top of the area. In alone with Hartman, Shea fired a high and hard shot into the net to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead.
The duel was cut short in the 75th minute when Shea was ejected on his second caution for a hard foul on FCD trialist Daniel Osorno. After an earlier ejection of Kofi Sarkodie, Shea’s departure left the U.S. with only nine men over the final 15 minutes. Though up two men, FC Dallas was unable to break down an organized U.S. back line.
“I don’t know if I’m more hurt by the fact that we lost, or the fact that we didn’t score being up two men,” said Hyndman. “We had them pretty much locked in.”