FRISCO – The pressure just got to be too much for Brek Shea.
That’s what Schellas Hyndman seemed to indicate to reporters after Saturday night’s 1-0 loss to LA in reference to why he has left his young star off the team sheet for the past two games.
“The decision is no different than the decision we made last week,” Hyndman said Saturday night. “We feel the best thing we can do with Brek is to give him a chance to remove himself from the pressure and kind of let him figure things out.”
Shea’s struggles truly started to take a toll after FC Dallas returned from the FIFA World Cup qualifying break in mid-June.
The Texan, previously hobbled by a nagging turf toe injury, returned to an FCD team desperate for offense. The 22-year-old was unable to provide the answers for Dallas, however, failing to make an impact in a three-game homestand where they allowed just one goal, but settled for three disappointing draws.
The frustrations became public on a national stage after a verbal altercation with his manager in San Jose on July 18.
“What Brek has been doing is trying to live up to expectations of everyone else and himself," Hyndman said. "And when the game doesn’t go well for him, it gets really frustrating and the pressure really mounts."
Shea was held out of practice and Dallas' 5-0 win over Portland, but returned to what was an abbreviated team training schedule last week because of the MLS All-Star Game. This led some to think that the winger could feature at least as a substitute in Saturday’s crucial match against the Galaxy, but that never materialized.
Hyndman says it wasn’t because of anything Shea did wrong in practice, rather it was simply about keeping the weight of high expectations off their young star and taking small steps before he’s inserted back into the team.
“One of the things for us to take a step in the right direction is to recognize that something wasn't right," the FC Dallas boss said. "I think he has come to that realization. I think the last two practices he had were very good. I asked him why and he said he feels that for once this year the pressure is off of him.”
Hyndman did not give a timetable on Shea's return, but ended his thoughts with some encouraging words.
“In these last two training sessions," Hyndman added, "he's had some life in his legs and he's been excited to be out there.”