Hard to say what might happen with Brek Shea tonight in suburban Dallas.
He could get on the field for FC Dallas, a team slowly getting some of wounded off the trainer’s table and back into action, and finally have the breakout game that everyone thinks is out there.
Or he might not play at all. No one would be surprised if manager Schellas Hyndman gives the struggling young attacker a “night off.”
Shea was excused from Friday’s short, day-before-game practice – never a good sign for athletes seeking playing time. Here’s what Hyndman said about Shea, who was visibly upset and had a short, verbal confrontation with the manager after being subbed out Wednesday night in San Jose.
“I just think with the difficult road trip and the issues that recently occurred, this might be a good down time for him without having to come in here and be a part of a pregame training. He’s available tomorrow night. It will be a game-day decision.”
In the lengthy extensive Q&A at the blog, Hyndman said they haven’t spoken since that exchange.
I think enough was said at that time so what I wanted to do, and I think sometimes when you get into a verbal confrontation, it takes two to have a verbal confrontation and I understand the frustrations he’s going through and I didn’t want to get into a situation where I’m coming across discipline oriented and scolding him like you would a boy. What I wanted to do was give a little bit of time and space but I also believe in the philosophy that silence can be the loudest noise in the world. Nobody knows what you’re thinking, so it’s like you figure things out then we’ll get together.
This sounds similar to something Dax McCarty went through about four years ago. (Which, coincidentally, happened after the 2008 Olympics.) McCarty was benched for his attitude and for general grousing about. Hyndman was still new as FC Dallas’ manager, and he was giving minutes to players who were clearly lesser talented.
The coach was taking a lot of public criticism for it, too. People wondered if the longtime college coach simply didn’t recognize the kind of talent it took to perform professionally.
But Hyndman told me privately at the time that McCarty’s attitude was awful. The coach told me that he could “deal with the problem right now, or that he’d be dealing with it later.”
Long story short, McCarty shaped up, and look at that guy now; he’s having a sensational season for the Red Bulls. McCarty has told me since that he was young and being a brat and needed to be benched.
So, perhaps that’s where all this is headed with Shea, too.
Dallas has a big chance tonight, at home against the only team in the West below them in the standings.