FC Dallas’ Brek Shea Curiously Absent Again as Playoff Hopes Fade


Frisco, TX – The Galaxy may have played in Frisco on Saturday night, but there were no stars on the pitch at FC Dallas Stadium.  Los Angeles galacticos Landon Donovan (suspension for yellow card accumulation) and David Beckham (speedboat duty in London) weren’t on Galaxy coach Bruce Arena’s lineup sheet for the match.  But the real story of the night might be the status of Dallas’ own shooting soccer star, Brek Shea, who was left out of the lineup for the second straight game at FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman’s discretion.

A record FC Dallas Stadium soccer crowd of 22,565 turned out in the 103º heat to watch the home side play Major League Soccer’s glamour team. This was a very important match for the Toros as they came into the game eight points behind the Galaxy, who hold the Western Conference’s fifth (and final) playoff spot.  Win, and FCD could climb within five of LA and possibly move ahead of the Colorado Rapids and/or Chivas USA.  Lose, and their postseason chances look grim.

In what amounted to a must-win game for FCD, they looked listless and had a hard time putting any serious pressure on Los Angeles’ goal.  There was never any real flow to their passing and for long stretches of the match they had a very difficult time connecting even the back-line to the midfield, much less building up an attack to get the ball to lone forward Scott Sealy in a dangerous position.  Coach Hyndman later said it was all about effort: “We had a good game the other night , and tonight we came out flat.  Give a lot of credit as they seem to have out-worked us, which was very disappointing.”

Los Angeles was consistently peppering the FC Dallas goal throughout the match and it was only a superb performance by goal keeper Kevin Hartman that kept this one from getting way out of hand.  There was one sequence in particular midway through the first half where Hartman made three straight reflex saves after defender Hernan Pertuz had cleared a Robbie Kean shot off of the line.

What seemed like the inevitable Galaxy goal came in the 62nd minute (Mike McGee from Robbie Keane), and cruelly it was directly off of a counterattack of Dallas’ best chance of the evening.  The final was 1-0 and puts FC Dallas eleven points out of the final playoff spot with eleven games to play and three teams to leapfrog.


Brek Shea was left out of the lineup against the Portland Timbers last week as a direct result of a verbal altercation he had with Hyndman during the July 18th match against the San Jose Earthquakes.  Shea returned to practice this past Tuesday and Hyndman’s comments earlier in the week indicated that the matter had been discussed and that they had, “…cleared the air.”  So it is more than a little curious that Shea was not in the lineup Saturday night given the importance of this match in particular on and off the field.

As previously noted, this game was fairly vital if FC Dallas was going to have any shot at making a late charge for the playoffs.  The difference between a five-point deficit and and eleven-point deficit in the standings is rather significant at this point of the season.  Would the Cowboys sit Tony Romo or DeMarcus Ware for having an argument with Jason Garrett right before a crucial November game against the Eagles?

This match was also the first one in which the team was wearing the logo of their first-ever jersey sponsor, Advocare, on their kits.  There was a sellout, record crowd in the stands.  It was nationally televised by MLS’ new television partner, NBC, on their fledgling NBC Sports Network.  With the aforementioned absences by Donovan and Beckham, United States National Team regular Brek Shea would easily have been the most marketable star on the pitch.  Brek also was not on any of the advertisements highlighting the new jersey sponsorship that were posted at FC Dallas partner pubs, even though he was prominently displayed during the sponsorship announcement a few weeks ago. Shea was nowhere to be seen in the stadium and neither was his family, who are usually at every match in the west side stands.  Can you imagine the Mavericks not only voluntarily sitting their superstar before an important, nationally-televised game, but also not including Dirk Nowitzki in a marketing opportunity with a “Hero” level sponsor?

I have no specific information, so this is 100% semi-educated speculation, but signs seem to be pointing to an imminent Brek Shea departure from the team.  The European transfer window is open and all of their league seasons start in the coming weeks.  Shea signed a new contract last year that runs through 2015, but this only means the league office (that handles player contracts) would command a nice transfer fee for his services.  Shea has never hidden his desire to play in Europe and truth be told, his game probably needs the step up in competition to improve any further.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s played his last match in Dallas.  I’ll be shocked if he’s still wearing red and white hoops next spring.

Ready to join the SportDFW Nation? Check us out on FacebookTwitter or contact us at therealsportdfw@gmail.com