Brek Shea back on US roster for Mexico game
Brek Shea is back on the U.S. national team roster following a tumultuous season with FC Dallas.
Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Steve Cherundolo were among the veterans omitted for Wednesday night's exhibition game at Mexico, while defenders Steven Beitashour and Matt Besler could make their national team debuts. Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Clarence Goodson also were left off for the match, the first for the national team since the opening round of World Cup qualifiers in June.
Shea returns for the first time since a Feb. 29 exhibition at Italy. The 22-year-old midfielder was suspended for three Major League Soccer games for kicking the ball at an assistant referee during a game on May 17, then was benched for two games by Schellas Hyndman after arguing with the FC Dallas coach when he was taken out of a game on July 18. He also was part of the U.S. under-23 team that failed to qualify for the Olympics.
''I had good conversations the last week with Schellas Hyndman of FC Dallas and we both see a lot of upside in Brek Shea,'' U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said during a conference call. ''We all knew that after the big disappointment of not qualifying for the Olympics that our youngsters from that program would eventually fall into a hole. They would go through emotional roller-coasters. That's what happened with Brek, he went through an emotional roller-coaster and he didn't have himself under control.''
After scoring 11 league goals in 2011, Shea has only three this season.
''We think he needs our support and the feeling that we're there when things get tough,'' Klinsmann said. ''Brek has to learn to focus in and learn to become a full professional 24-7 and learn that the highest priority is what you deliver on the field and learn how to live off the field, and he's in the middle of that process. We coaches are responsible to help him in that process. We are happy to have him back and we'll have a couple good talks over a few coffees.''
Klinsmann took six players from Mexican clubs in the 22-man group he announced Sunday: defenders Edgar Castillo and Michael Orozco, midfielders DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona and Jose Torres, and forward Herculez Gomez.
Just seven players are based in Europe: goalkeeper Tim Howard, defenders Geoff Cameron and Fabian Johnson, midfielders Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams, and forward Terrence Boyd.
Off to a 1-0-1 start in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, the U.S. is preparing for a pair of qualifiers against Jamaica, on the road on Sept. 7 and at Columbus, Ohio, four days later.
Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Sean Johnson (Chicago), Nick Rimando (Salt Lake)
Defenders: Steven Beitashour (San Jose), Matt Besler (Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke, England), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis, Mexico), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany)
Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico), Brek Shea (Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim, Germany), Graham Zusi (Kansas City)
Forwards: Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna, Austria), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna, Mexico), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)