PORTLAND, Ore. – It wasn’t of the 2011 vintage, but Brek Shea produced his best performance of the season in his first game back in the lineup since being left off the squad for the previous two matches.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman inserted Shea back into his customary position on the left wing and the Texan quickly showed why he is such an important piece of this FC Dallas team. Shea led FCD with four shots, hitting the post with one and grabbing his first assist of the season.
“I think I was just excited to be back,” Shea told reporters after the game. “I hadn’t been out there in a while so I was excited to be back. Maybe the atmosphere helped, too. Playing in front of these guys, no matter if they’re cheering against me or not, it gets you going.”
Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of Shea’s performance was the return of his trademark slashing runs down the left side of the field. Throughout the game, David Ferreira’s vision found Shea with space on the left, and it was that very same combination that created the Dallas goal.
Ferreira’s perfectly weighted pass sprung Shea to find Scott Sealy unmarked in front of goal, notching his first assist since Oct. 15, 2011, while getting his name on the score sheet for the first time since a draw at LA on April 28.
“If we had won, it would’ve maybe meant a little bit more,” Shea said of his assist. “It definitely feels good to get something like that, but it’s one game. If it’s a string of games, I’ll feel better.”
Performances like Sunday’s remind Hyndman just what Shea can bring to FC Dallas and just how big of a bullet he had to bite in leaving him off the game day roster. However, the sight of a smiling Shea talking to the media after the game, something that hasn’t been seen in a while, justifies the Dallas coaching staff in their handling of the situation.
“It hurt us, but it was the best thing for Brek,” Hyndman said. “Tonight he did well. He played hard, was able to go the full 90 and he had a great assist.”