It has been an interesting journey for Brek Shea in 2010. The FC Dallas midfielder started the campaign in the starting XI for the March 27 season opener against Houston and played 69 minutes in a 1-1 draw.
However, the following week wasn’t the 20-year-old Texan’s best in training, and he found himself off the 18-man roster for the game against Columbus. Shea returned to the bench a week later in New York and then played 17 minutes as a sub against Seattle. He didn’t return to the starting lineup until May 1 at New England.
He has now started 11 games since, tallying four goals and two assists.
WATCH: Shea knocks back RSL
“I was starting and didn’t think I was playing well," Shea said when asked about his early season struggles. "I let it get to my head and I was off the 18. I had to step back and look. I knew it was time to play and show I can help the team win.”
Head coach Schellas Hyndman got the response he had hoped for after he dropped Shea from the gameday roster.
"I think what you can always expect from the younger players is that inconsistency, but you can’t accept lack of trust on their part," Hyndman said. "You’ve got to trust them to do their job assignments, and then you’ve got to see how they respond when things don’t go their way.
"If I’m helping Brek become more mature and more focused, it’s because he’s responded in a positive way.”
Shea admits the whole situation helped strengthen his relationship with the coach.
“I was frustrated with myself and got mad at him [Hyndman] because of that," Shea said. “It's helped a lot. Now we have a good understanding. I know he’s trying to help.”
He also looks at the entire experience as something he had to go through in order to mature both on and off the pitch.
“I think everyone just learns from their mistakes,” Shea said. “I hope I'm maturing. I know sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. I want to mature, but I still want to have my youth and my excitement. I like doing new stuff and like to be a little different.”
On Saturday night, FCD handed reigning MLS Cup champion Real Salt Lake a rare 2-0 defeat at Pizza Hut Park, and Shea was front and center. The young midfielder had a goal, an assist and also prevented an RSL goal by clearing Jamison Olave's header off the line.
“(Shea's) a player that will do what I ask him to do," Hyndman said. "I think once he really gets that first touch down, he’ll be able to get more and more shots off. I’m really happy that the players are looking for him. He made it a difficult night for [Robbie] Russell.”
And Shea admits it feels good to play a bigger role in his side’s attack.
“I feel like sometimes I don’t get the ball, but lately they’ve been trying to find me," he said. "I think I’m getting a lot of opportunities from it. That’s where my goals have been coming from.”
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