Brek Shea

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MLS: FCD, ORL ride long winless skids; VAN, CLB get big wins

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Columbus Crew SC 2-1 FC Dallas

The game in 100 words (or less): It’s panic-button time in Dallas, after Oscar Pareja’s side fell to six games without a victory (four losses) on Saturday, falling 2-1 in Columbus. Ola Kamara and Jonathan Mensah got the goals for Gregg Berhalter’s side; Walker Zimmerman grabbed the late consolation tally for FCD, who have been outscored by a total of 14-5 in those six games. The defending Supporters’ Shield winners, who currently sit sixth in the Western Conference, will find themselves outside the playoff places at the end of weekend if the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the LA Galaxy on Sunday. Columbus, thanks to the victory, move up two places to third in the Eastern Conference.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three moments that mattered

50′ — Kamara finishes Jimenez’s cross for 1-0 — Federico Higuain got the ball wide to Hector Jimenez, who played the simple cross into the box, and Kamara managed to keep his feet just long enough to open the scoring.

71′ — Mensah heads Higuain’s free kick for 2-0 — There was a time, not so long ago, when FCD were one of MLS’s two best defensive sides. At this point, it seems long, long ago.

78′ — Zimmerman rises above, and it’s 2-1 — Columbus, unlike their Saturday’s counterparts, have rarely been good defensively, especially against set pieces.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Federico Higuain

Goalscorers: Kamara (50′), Mensah (71′), Zimmerman (78′)


Orlando City SC 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

The game in 100 words (or less): Let’s take a quick second to check in on Orlando City’s highest-paid player, and one of the highest-profile names in MLS history.

Well, that seems far from ideal. Saturday’s home defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps was the latest puzzling result in a thoroughly disappointing season for Jason Kreis’ side, who are now seven games without a win (five losses) and currently sit six points adrift of the sixth and final playoff place in the East. Orlando out-possessed Vancouver, 73-27; out-shot Vancouver, 25-7 (4-3 on target); crossed the ball a mind-numbing 48 times; and came within inches of an equalizing goal what felt like a dozen times altogether. Vancouver, meanwhile, vault all the way up to fourth in the West, past FCD and the Houston Dynamo, now five points clear of the playoff cut line.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Redding heads it into his own net — Tommy Redding could do little more than get his head to the ball as the free kick sailed into the box. Joe Bendik could do nothing to bail him out.

53′ — Shea lifts it over Bendik for 2-0 — Cheeky finish by Brek Shea, against his former club.

62′ — Larin heads home for a lifeline — In theory, having a skilled striker the size of Cyle Larin should always be this easy. In reality, not every cross is as perfect as this one from Yoshimar Yotun.

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Man of the match: Marcel de Jong

Goalscorers: Redding (9′ – OG), Shea (53′), Larin (62′)

Whitecaps acquire U.S. defender Brek Shea in deal with Orlando City

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With almost a week to go until the Major League Soccer season kicks off, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Orlando City may have pulled off one of the biggest trades of offseason.

[ MORE: MLS negotiating to bring Chicharito to U.S. in 2018 ]

The clubs announced on Saturday that the Whitecaps have acquired U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder/defender Brek Shea in exchange for forward Giles Barnes, who is headed to Orlando City.

“We are excited to welcome Brek to our club and city,” said Whitecaps FC manager Carl Robinson. “Brek is a tall, physical, skilled player and will bring a different dimension to our attack. Brek will join the group in coming days and we anticipate he will be available for selection as early as this Thursday’s Champions League match against New York.”

Shea, 26, began his career in MLS with FC Dallas before heading to England for a brief stint with Stoke City. The U.S. defender made his way back to MLS ahead of Orlando City’s inaugural season in 2015 and started 39 matches in that span.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Meanwhile, Barnes has scored 33 goals since joining MLS in 2012. The 28-year-old forward played with the Houston Dynamo before spending last season with the Whitecaps.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 4-1 Portland Timbers (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): As it turns out, Ricardo “Kaka” Izecson dos Santos Leite is still pretty good at this soccer thing. After missing Orlando City SC’s first three games of 2016, the 33-year-old Brazilian made his season debut Sunday night and turned in a performance — one goal and two assists — that sent every last one of the 31,114 purple-clad crazies inside the Citrus Bowl home happy. Even without Kaka, Orlando City managed five points from the opening month of the season, which was good enough for third in the Eastern Conference coming into the weekend. At the end of the weekend? Top of the East (8 points), two points clear of the Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution. As for the defending MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers, they’re ninth in the West (4 points) after four games.

[ MORE: Saturday’s MLS roundupSacramento to MLS? ]

Three moments that mattered

13′ — Hines heads home from a free kick for 1-0 — Kaka lofted the free kick into the box, Seb Hines got to the spot first and applied the simple headed finish to put the Lions a goal ahead inside the first quarter-hour.

32′ — Shea tees off, sneaks it inside the far post — The window through which Brek Shea had to hit this shot was almost certainly tinier than the ball itself (WATCH HERE).

48′ — Kaka slots it low and past Kwarasey for 3-0 — Vintage Kaka: arriving late into the penalty area, first-touch strike, finish past the goalkeeper without a chance of saving it.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Kaka

Goalscorers: Hines (13′), Shea (32′), Kaka (48′), Molino (76′ – PK), McInerney (89′)

VIDEO: Orlando City SC, USMNT’s Brek Shea teed off on this poor ball

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As they say, that ball stayed hit.

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Brek Shea absolutely unloaded on this poor ball and the inside netting at the far post. Poor ball. Poor net.

As far I was able to find, it was Shea’s first goal for a first-team club side since April 28, 2012, back when he still played for FC Dallas.

Klinsmann hints at Euro-heavy roster for World Cup qualifiers

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If your favorite Major League Soccer players don’t make the cut for Jurgen Klinsmann’s next roster, don’t think you won’t see them in the red, white and blue this summer.

[ JPW: What’s the best XI for USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers? ]

Perhaps it’ll be different for the players who were a part of January camp — stars Lee Nguyen and Steve Birnbaum chief among them — but Klinsmann says the late start of the MLS season can affect fitness for the critical qualifiers home and away to Guatemala.

That means there’s a better chance to see in-form Championship midfielder Danny Williams (above) or Pachuca’s Omar Gonzalez then, say, Orlando City’s Brek Shea or Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman.

From USSoccer.com:

“We are basically looking all over the place. We monitor all the players in Europe. We monitor all the players in Mexico, and obviously we can’t wait until MLS starts as well. It’s really kind of crucial that we see everybody getting in the best shape possible, everybody getting into a rhythm and making statements.

“Then you say, ‘Is the roster you see at the end of March the same one as Copa America?’ Probably not. The end of March comes early for MLS players. The European players are in the full swing, and also Mexican players because they started already a month ago with Liga MX. So we’ll be monitoring everyone.”

We’ve already covered the obstacle that is the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL Olympic qualifying playoff occurring at the same time as the Guatemala matches, but this is still good news for players in England, Germany and other European locales seeking caps in March.