It was all going so well for US national team winger Brek Shea.
In Sunday’s Gold Cup final, Shea came off the bench and scored the game-winning goal with his first touch. Life is pretty good right now. Well, was.
Because, sadly, that upturn in his fortunes is over.
On Tuesday night Shea suffered a bad knee injury after a poor tackle from Philadelphia Union reserve Matt Kassel. Uh oh.
The friendly between the Union and Stoke took place at PPL Park and Shea had already scored after starting for the Potters. But that bright start was ended, as Kassel took Shea out in the 27th minute.
Needless to say Stoke City manager Mark Hughes wasn’t impressed with Kassel, as Shea know faces an anxious wait to find out the extent of the injury to his left knee.
It was a nasty injury. It looks like some damage to the ligaments in his knee. I thought it was a very, very poor challenge by the boy. What the hell was he was thinking of, I have no idea. It’s a friendly game. You need to protect your fellow professional. And I don’t think the guy did that. I don’t know who he was. Maybe he was trying to make a name for himself, I don’t know. He went the wrong way about it.
So Shea’s nightmare with injuries continues. Just when everything was on the up for the FC Dallas product, wham, a crunching tackle from Kassel has changed all that.
Even Kassel’s own fans were booing him after they saw Shea limp off in severe pain. But as yet there this is the only video footage of his tackle, as the link to the game video from last night is actually showing a ticket promotion when the challenge comes in. But you can see Shea rolling around in agony after Kassel lunges in.
Shea, 23, has been hampered by injury since joining Stoke from FC Dallas in January. And after impressing in spells at the Gold Cup, scoring crucial game-winners, Hughes will have been eager to give Shea an extended run in the team as the winger had only joined Stoke’s preseason tour yesterday.
Let’s hope this injury isn’t a serious as it looks. The last word on this should go to Shea.
“Obviously I’m pretty upset right now . I was excited to get back to Stoke and get ready for the season. Hopefully it’s not as bad as it feels. When I was walking off, he [Kassel] apologized. And I said, ‘[Expletive] happens.’”