Jul 19, 2012, 4:44 PM EDT
You know what they say about spiraling times of misfortune like these: If it was raining $20 bills, Brek Shea would surely get conked on the head with a roll of old pennies.
The young U.S. international (at right, in a rare thumbs-up moment of 2012) needs a life timeout or something. He’s having a very bad
week month year.
Yesterday, a story in Dallas’ alternative weekly detailed a conversation that Shea says took place in 2010 between MLS commissioner Don Garber and FC Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman. According to Shea, Garber called Hyndman to deliver a sort of ultimatum: either play the young man or move him elsewhere, via sell or trade.
My first reaction: that certainly doesn’t sound like Garber (nor any right-minded league official). That sounds more like a player’s interpretation of events, possibly (but not certainly) attached to a tangle of informal conversations between players, agents, coaches and power ties in league and team offices.
So I called MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche, who relayed a message from commissioner Garber.
“Decisions about who plays are made by clubs and their technical staffs, not by the league office,” Courtemanche told me.
He didn’t want to address any specific this or that. Courtemanches didn’t say why, exactly, but I think I get it. Shea is having a crappy week – if I’m guessing, construction workers are busily working in the blazing Texas sun at this very minute, constructing a new wing in Hyndman’s dog house for the young left winger – and the league office didn’t want to pile on by making things worse on Shea.
Did I say “crappy week?” Maybe that’s underselling the point. Dallas’ young star is not performing well, he’s being asked to play out of position, he’s not scoring, he’s lost his mojo with the national team and that U.S. Olympic dream went kablooey, his battered MLS team is struggling mightily just to tread water and now the man seems to have gotten sideways with a no-nonsense coach.
Things could only be worse if someone kidnapped Shea’s dog.
So that’s why the league passed on addressing this specific situation. Besides, I get the feeling that I could have ticked off a long list of similar scenarios and I would have gotten the ditto answer: “The league office does not decide who plays,” Courtemanche reiterated. “Those decisions about who plays are made by the clubs’ technical staffs.”
Not long after that story came out Wednesday, national TV cameras saw a pouting Shea subbed out in Dallas’ loss to San Jose. He had what looked like a brief, terse sideline exchange with Hyndman. Here’s what FCD veteran midfielder Daniel Hernandez told ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle afterward:
Nobody likes to come out of a game. I don’t like to come out of a game. I’m pissed off when I come out of a game, or when I don’t play. But when things are not going well for you, or you’re not having a good game, and coach needs to make a change, you have to respect it. At this point in the season, we can’t have those breakdowns right now, because we need everybody. We need him. He’s one of the stars of our team, and we need him to step up with his leadership and his play. He’s obviously one of the best players in the country. In order for us to try to fight to get into the playoffs, we’re going to need him and everyone else, 100 percent.”
She wasn’t made available for comment (for which the team will probably be fined.) Hyndman declined to comment on his young star other than to say, “I think he is in enough hot water already.”
Sounds like Shea is in for a “talking-to.” From Hyndman and probably from team leaders, too.
So, yes, this is a bad time for Brek Shea. He’s young. He’ll bounce back.
But if we could offer a wee bit of advice: just keep your head down for a while, kid. Because those doggone rolls of old pennies can leave a mark!
May 19, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT
With his eye on the imminent vacancy at Real Madrid left by Jose Mourinho’s almost certain departure, Paris Saint-Germain’s mastermind Carlo Ancelotti may now have a large hurdle to get past if he is to land his ideal job in Spain’s capital.
May 19, 2013, 5:34 PM EDT
Fernando Torres broke his Premier League scoring drought by banging home the game-winner to secure Chelsea a third place finish.
May 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EDT
Heartbreak in Serie A this year belongs to Fiorentina. Mario Balotelli converted a penalty in the 84th minute to draw level and two minutes later Philippe Mexes slotted home a cross to secure Europe’s top competition for AC Milan.
May 19, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT
Rare as they are, we’ve seen more than our share of “Olimpico” goals in MLS over the last pair of seasons, including one last night:
May 19, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
With Arsenal and Tottenham the only teams battling for any meaningful positioning in the Premier League table, the final day still had implications for many teams in the form of placement prize money.
May 19, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas late.
May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Another game-winning strike from Gareth Bale wasn’t enough to save Tottenham from more Champions League heartache.
May 19, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
New York took all the points from the L.A. Galaxy on Tim Cahill’s late goal. So let’s talk about that goal.
May 19, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
This Landon Donovan debate regarding his place on the national team is not going anywhere. So, did Sunday’s performance move the needle either way?
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
Arsenal secured its 16th consecutive spot on the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
May 19, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
Sensational news for fans around BMO Field:
May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we’re finally here: The final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
May 19, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT
Newcastle have nothing to play for and have been a disaster at home of late, losing their last two matches at St. James’ Park by a combined 9-0.
May 19, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT
The timing on this thing in two words: pretty bad:
May 19, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves on the 20-year-old goal-scoring sensation … :
May 19, 2013, 12:48 AM EDT
The Sounders exploit Dallas’ young back line in a meeting of two Western Conference teams in top form. Final score: 4-2 for the Sounders:
May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT
Juan Agudelo makes his New England debut as Jay Heaps posts one of the best wins of his young coaching career:
May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM EDT
Highlights and context as “Jack Mac” scores his league-leading 8th goal:
May 18, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT
Cascadia Cup matches are always interesting, and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at BC Place was full of talking points:
May 18, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT
it was a big crowd pleaser on two fronts when the Whitecaps’ forward stroked an unstoppable free kick against Portland:
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- Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney would be league’s youngest Golden Boot winner 0
- Talking points on Portland’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver 0
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- As Alex Ferguson says goodbye, Manchester United’s cupboard remains stocked 1
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