If there was one storyline fans were following in Wednesday’s scrimmage between FC Dallas and the United States under-23 team, it was the fact that Brek Shea, normally Dallas’ starting left midfielder, would be playing for the opponent instead of for Schellas Hyndman’s club.
And there was also the added intrigue of Shea being matched up against starting right back Zach Loyd. That's a matchup that is pretty commonplace in practice, so much so that Loyd didn’t see facing Brek as a foe being any different than what he does on an almost daily basis.
But Shea performed well for the U.S. and in fact, delivered the game-winner, knocking a great cross from Freddy Adu into the back of the Dallas net in the 51st minute.
He was done for the day just 24 minutes later after receiving his second yellow card of the game, but it was a great U-23 debut for the College Station native.
“It was fun playing against my friends and teammates,” Shea said. “I got a little rough out there, you know how you play against friends you like to battle.”
Hyndman even noticed how hard those battles were between Loyd and Shea.
“They’re both head bangers,” he said. “I thought they both had some good battles. Surprised that they were going at each other as hard as they did considering they’re teammates.”
Shea even considered it an honor to be involved in such a competitive game with his normal teammates.
“I think Zach likes to battle,” he said. “You can see by the way he plays he’s a very good battler and he doesn’t like to get beat.”
So with his strong performance for the U.S. Under-23s, and the fact he’ll be in camp with them at least until next Wednesday’s game with Mexico, today’s FCD lineup could definitely be a hint of things to come, namely without Shea in the first 11.
And if he leaves the squad for Olympic qualifying, the Summer Games in London as well as several call-ups by the full U.S. national team, he figures to miss a considerable amount of time this season, something Hyndman will definitely have to contend with going forward.