On a night where FC Dallas needed it's best three attackers, things turned around quickly enough that the team really didn't need them. Dallas dominated the Portland Timbers on their way to a 5-0 win, giving many the question in their mind "would this result have been different with Brek Shea, Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez?"
The short answer on that, yes.
Dallas couldn't help it with Perez being injured or Castillo being suspended. Those are things that just happen in the game. But with the case of Shea, well, we all know the tantrum he threw in San Jose earlier in the week and how the coaching staff held him out of practice on Friday afternoon.
"The mental part with Brek is really affecting him. The flare-up at San Jose was just the tip of the iceberg because of the mental frustration and all the disappointments," said head coach Schellas Hyndman.
Shea also missed the big AdvoCare event on Friday night, leaving many to ponder his future with the club.
"It's been a very frustrating season for Brek. It's been combinations of being injured, the Olympic team not qualifying and missing 72 training sessions this year between injuries and national team call-ups," said Hyndman. "Imagine missing 72 training sessions. It's also a combination of his level of play being below what we expect and what he expects."
Hyndman also said that getting Shea back to his 2011 self will be the key to unlocking what has gone wrong with him this season. He has sat down with the player and said that he needs to find what made him happy last year that kept him going on the way to a MLS MVP finalist, a MLS First XI team honor and a MLS All Star game appearance.
Sometimes young players like this just need a cool down, a day to get their mind straight. One has to figure that come Monday morning all will be forgiven as Shea will see a result like this and want to feel included going forward with this club.
This isn't the first time Shea has gone off like this. Back in 2010, he was sluggish through practice when Hyndman called him out on it. It turned out to be the best thing for the young left midfielder as he tore through that adversity and ended up finishing strong with the team that went to a MLS Cup that season.
"For Brek's best interest, to get back to the Brek that we know, the Brek that has a smile on his face, the Brek that tonight would have found a way to score goals himself, to get Brek back, and his confidence, I think right now we need to pull him away and take the pressure off of him," said Hyndman.