It appeared Brek Shea had finally gotten his career back on track, only for a serious injury to end his season prematurely.
Atlanta United announced on Tuesday that Shea had suffered a “right knee injury” that will involve season-ending surgery. An earlier report from the Athletic stated it was a torn ACL, which could leave Shea sidelined into the start of next season.
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Shea has made 10 starts out of 19 appearances so far this season for Atlanta, where he’s often played as a left wing back or left midfielder, offering speed down the flank and a deeper starting position to connect with Atlanta’s talented attackers. A good season from Shea could have propelled him back into the USMNT conversation, especially if he took part in next season’s January camp. Now, that option is off the table.
Here’s some more MLS news and notes:
The game in 200 words (or less): While Los Angeles FC runs away with the 2019 Supporters’ Shield, the Seattle Sounders can call themselves the “best of the rest” of MLS… for now, at least. Sunday’s 2-1 victory over defending champions Atlanta United sent Brian Schmetzer’s side (35 points) into second place in the Western Conference as well as the single-table Shield race. LAFC, however, remain 11 points clear. Atlanta, meanwhile, remain third in the Eastern Conference, still six points back of first-place Philadelphia Union. Raul Ruidiaz and Harry Shipp grabbed Seattle’s goals on Sunday, sandwiching a Josef Martinez equalizer, all occurring during a 13-minute explosion of action. The Sounders have now won three of their last four games, while Atlanta have just one win from their last five (three losses).
[ MORE: Quakes smash Galaxy | LAFC thrash Dynamo ]
Three moments that mattered
58′ — Ruidiaz makes magic all by himself — There aren’t many players in MLS who could create this chance, let alone maintain their composure to put it away after the slaloming and the flicks.
65′ — Josef’s thunderous header levels it up — Martinez scores goals in so many different ways, including with his head despite being just 5-foot-6.
71′ — Shipp places a header of his own to make it 2-1 — While Martinez’s header was powered into the back of the net, Shipp’s was precisely placed off the (intentional) bounce to avoid a sea of outstretched legs.
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Man of the match: Raul Ruidiaz
Goalscorers: Ruidiaz (58′), Martinez (65′), Shipp (71′)
This weekend’s slate of MLS action is set to end with a bang with two games on Sunday, featuring four sides all comfortably occupying playoff places in their respective conference.
[ FOLLOW: Sunday’s MLS action ]
First up, Seattle Sounders host Atlanta United at CenturyLink Field. Seattle currently sits fourth in the Western Conference, just two points out of second, while Atlanta has clawed its way back from a poor start to the season and occupies third place in the East, also two points out of second.
Then, it’s the first (of two) Hudson River Derbies of 2019: New York Red Bulls host New York City FC. One point separates the two sides heading into Sunday’s showdown at Red Bull Arena — NYCFC are fifth, just one point out of third and three points out of second (prior to Atlanta’s result); Red Bulls are sixth, two points out of third. Red Bulls lead the all-time series, 6W-2D-4L.
Seattle Sounders v. Atlanta United — 4 p.m. ET
New York Red Bulls v. New York City FC — 6:30 p.m. ET
Hit the link above to follow along with the scores today, and check back on PST for full recaps of each game.
Bournemouth loanee Emerson Hyndman wasted no time in making an impact with Atlanta United in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
Making his first start for the Five Stripes the former Fulham, Rangers, and Hibernian playmaker set up Pity Martinez’s opening goal of a 2-0 win at Kennesaw State.
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Atlanta United’s lineup was no joke against USL side Saint Louis FC, with the 23-year-old Hyndman in the middle of a 4-3-3 with Martinez, Josef Martinez, and Justin Meram atop him.
Hyndman took advantage of a poor giveaway from the SLFC right back, and popped the ball to Martinez for a pretty finish.
Despite its temporary status, the move is reminiscent of Sebastian Lletget‘s move to the LA Galaxy from West Ham United. In that scenario, however, Lletget didn’t go on loan and spent most of his time with the Irons’ U-23 side.
Lletget’s move has been a success. We’ll see if Hyndman’s is any better.
Emerson Hyndman could return Stateside this summer after eight years abroad.
Hyndman has been on the books at Bournemouth since leaving Fulham in 2016, but may be trading Southern England for the Deep South of the United States according to Doug Roberson with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Atlanta United is thin at midfield and Hyndman is still a terrific talent despite not finding a regular place in the Premier League. He’s been on loan to Rangers and Hibernian in Scotland, making just two Premier League appearances with the Cherries.
Hyndman is still just 23, which is one of those facts that read as odd when a player like him has been in the mainstream of U.S. Soccer since he was a teenager.
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He’s entering the final season of a three-year deal at the Vitality Stadium, and couldn’t join Frank De Boer‘s Five Stripes until the open of the MLS transfer window on July 9.
The Dallas-born Hyndman was with MLS academy FC Dallas for a season before moving to Fulham. He’s been capped twice by the USMNT, once in 2014 and another time in 2016.
Hyndman would bring six goals and four assists in 72 European first team appearances back to MLS. Compare that to Sebastian Lletget, who returned to U.S. at the same age after playing for West Ham almost exclusively in the U-21 Premier League. That’s just one player, but it’s hard to imagine Hyndman would be any less promising a figure for an MLS team.