brek shea

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Maximum Optimal, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    On My Squatty Potty
    Club:
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah he looks to be reading the game much better and quicker than before he went to England. His game looks far more mature now, like he's actually been taught how to play.

    It's why IMO too many discount training overseas in top leagues. On one hand I agree playing is better than not playing but on the other hand, a guy like Shea was receiving instruction daily he likely wasn't at FCD and at a certain point, just playing without getting that high level instruction causes you to run up against a wall in your development. I btw think that's why we regularly see players take a good leap in play during their first 2-3 years in MLS, soaking up the experience from playing but then they hit a wall and don't take that next step.

    Put it this way, I don't think Shea could link and make runs off Kaka the way he is now if he never left, as the FCD version of Shea was far less of a thinker and relied on athleticism.

    I also say that's why Zardes should be aiming to get to a more tactical league this summer.
     
  2. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    MLS isn't monolithic. Quality of development varies from team to team.
     
  3. Bolivianfuego

    Bolivianfuego Your favorite Bolivian

    Apr 12, 2004
    Fairfax, Va
    Club:
    Bolivar La Paz
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    I think he'll learn a lot from Kaka and the other guys around him who have a pretty good way of playing to feet, to space, making runs, etc. He's already shown with ORL that he has pretty good vision from the back tomake quick passes ito space and then runs to get the ball back. He had one run that Kaka gave him a quick through ball to that if he had not hesitated would have resulted in a goal like we saw vs. Chile.

    He still has some work to do, but he's gotten better. I personally think it's the opportunity JK has given him to play for the NT against top opponents matched with his training he received in England.

    The kid always had a spark I could see slowly developing when I first caught it vs. Mexico in Jurgen's first game as coach. Since then it was obvious to me--not so much to others.

    He's not the smatest guy off the field...but as long as he can keep learning ON the field and progressing--we have someting at LB for once.
     
  4. xbhaskarx

    xbhaskarx Member+

    Feb 13, 2010
    NorCal
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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  5. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    France.
    Meh... he was an effective sub on a good night playing at home versus a terrible, tired, already-crushed visiting Quakes team playing with two defenders, one of whom was Shea Salinas.

    Good on ya Brek. Soak it up.
     
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  6. DIMITAR BERBATOV!

    Aug 2, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I went to the Portland/Vancouver game this past weekend and had a chance to see him up close since I was seated right near the flank he was attacking for the whole first half, and they played through that side a lot.

    From a talent standpoint, he has to be one of the most overrated USMNT players of the past 6-7 years. People talk about him like he's immensely gifted, but I just don't see it. He really isn't very fast despite his reputation for having pace and his short-area quickness is not great either. He can dribble a little bit when he knows what he wants to do, but he is clumsy under pressure.

    I still don't know what he's supposed to be. He has height and shooting ability, but he can't hold up the ball or dribble in traffic, so he 'd be a poor striker. He's not agile enough to be a good fullback. He's limited as a pure winger. He's obviously not a playmaker/#10 type.

    I honestly think his ceiling might have been highest at CB or CDM, but again I don't think he really has the hips or reactive quickness to be an elite man marker.

    Overall, I just don't think he's a very good player. There are some guys in our pool like Benny Feilhaber who I think deserved more chances to play at a decent level. With a guy like Shea, it's puzzling why he got so many chances and not at all surprising that he failed repeatedly. I think ultimately he's just not nearly as talented as people made him out to be. In that Portland game I came away more impressed with his teammate Jordan Harvey, a 33 year old journeyman who has never had a single USA cap. Go figure.
     
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  7. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Colorado
    Club:
    FC Metalist Kharkiv
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    He was a borderline MVP candidate for half a season in 2012. That alone seems to have convinced Stoke to spend $4 million on him. He's not fast now, because he's 27 and doesn't appear to have done much beyond the bare minimum level of fitness required to be a pro soccer player, but 5 years ago he was very good at running onto balls into space.
     
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  8. DIMITAR BERBATOV!

    Aug 2, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    27 isn't old enough to use age as an excuse. While definitely not a perfect judge, the FIFA games have always rated Shea right around 75-80 pace, which isn't blazing. I do agree that during his hot streak with the USMNT he had the ability to blow by someone on the wing and put in a decent ball, but I never thought he had Bale speed or anything like that. He was a big guy who could surprise people and get past them. He isn't really very skillful though and his bag of tricks is pretty shallow.

    People make it out like he's some immensely gifted player who wasted his talent with a poor mentality, but from my perspective he's more like a mediocre talent who was found out. I actually felt kind of bad for him in the game I mentioned because he was working hard all match and nothing was coming off for him.
     
  9. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Colorado
    Club:
    FC Metalist Kharkiv
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If you don't train properly high end speed can drop off precipitously at about 25. At the professional level even losing half a step is going to be noticeable especially for a player who relies on it as their main attribute.

    Teams already figured Shea out by the end of 2012 that you just had to deny him space to run into and he couldn't really do much. I mean even El Salvador and Canada's u23 teams knew that.

    I'm not sure anybody thought he was going to be a world soccer star but I do think he at least had Senior team potential. Especially with the US programs dearth of left backs and wide players. With more dedication he might have been the left footed version of Arriola.
     
  10. Skevin

    Skevin Member+

    Aug 9, 2009
    Texas
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Czechia
    Brek's playing style is that of a CF. The guy who plays right behind the main target striker and exploits the space between the defense and midfield.

    Problem with Brek was he never wanted it. He relied on his own abilities and that isn't enough. He reportedly was very bad in training at Stoke. Very one dimensional player who lost focus easily.
     
  11. An Unpaved Road

    An Unpaved Road Member+

    Mar 22, 2006
    Club:
    --other--
    Haha, Shea's pretty cool. He's like a throwback to the 90s soccer culture I knew as a youth and high school player. In my neck of the wood at least, the game and those who played it had more in common with skate and/or "alternative" culture than the traditional approach to sports.
     
  12. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    He was and is a tremendous talent. He had and has the ability to make things happen on the field. But even at MLS level, unless you're a goal-eating monster, a lack of thoroughgoing professionalism means bench-time. The days of Justin-Mapping a career as a starter in MLS are over. DPs, TAM, and HGP mean managers can more readily turn to someone else.

    And if you don't care of your body noticeable decline can set in by age 27/28. See, for example, Wayne Rooney.

    Yeah, he very much oozes that sort of vibe--soccer as lifestyle rather than uber-elite profession.
     
  13. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    I think his talent gets overrated because of his size, which continues to be something too many people think matters. The only thing I've ever seen him do really well is run with the ball when he has space to build up a head of steam and he's got a decent shot with nice power. Kind of reminds me of Cooper from a generation before, big guy who thinks he should be running in space instead of playing a spot where his size could actually provide some value. Being extremely tall is soccer is about as useless as can be for someone who wants to run with the ball and play in open spaces. It's actually mostly a disadvantage.
     
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  14. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    He had elite pace and dribbling ability. He has shown excellent free kick ability.
     
  15. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Evaluating him as a player now hardly gives one perspective as who he was. Lef MLS as one of the best players there and returned as a bit player/backup. IIRC, Thierry Henry made the claim he was the best player in the league. But Brek lost confidence and legs in Europe. If you don't think he had pace you're being totally ignorant and arguing against yourself that this is always what he was. His touch and ideas improved the first few years of his career. He was never a heady player, so maybe he would have never evolved to be anything special. But didn't need to be to be useful at the very least as a super-sub and possibly more for a big 5 club + country.

    The book may not be totally closed for him either. Don't get the logic of using an observation about him last night to trash him. He peeled away from his man to send in a pinpoint accurate cross for an assist, and helped create the previous goal too which started on a solid cross from him. I don't know much Spanish, but it seemed like the Mexican announcers were gushing about him, and wondering why he wasn't more in the U.S.' plans. Although they might be biased because he tormented them in the past.
     
  16. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    France.
    Good points, but if Shea had any of Justin Mapp's genius I'd be defending rather than dismissing him here.

    Maybe Justin Mapp wouldn't run through a wall for Coach like Gyassi Zardes might. Maybe Brek Shea had the same relative lack of drive, but I think his athletic potential kept him in the mix when his talent didn't consistently prove itself.

    But if people really want to see the national team evolve, as I do, we have to be more willing to entrust and even lose with talent like Justin Mapp, Lee Nguyen, Mathis, maybe Torres and Feilhaber. Rather than rely on - and also lose with - coachable, athletic workers who can't create or possess or break games.
     
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  17. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Atletico were interested in Shea. JK liked him; I'm guessing Shea put the work in when in NT camps. Stoke saw potential.

    The work ethos and professionalism simply weren't there.
     
  18. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    France.
    And gush is what they're paid to do. Remember the Simpsons sawker episode? "HE HOLDS IT! HE HOLDS IT!!"

    But fair enough, shouldn't fault Brek when he shows well. And I'd love to see him earn his way back into the Nats pool.
     
  19. mattjo

    mattjo Member+

    Feb 3, 2001
    Washington DC
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    He had shades of Mathis in my mind, but never developed as well as Mathis or had the confidence of Mathis, even if their professionalism and training habits were similar. He was exposed for that and doesn't seem to have recovered mentally or reworked his training habits.
     
  20. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    That's not going to happen in soccer. Professionalism and coachability rule. Ideally, you get the Mathises, Sheas, and Feilhabers in youth professional academies where they learn the work and life skills.
     
  21. DIMITAR BERBATOV!

    Aug 2, 2010
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Does anyone have a link confirming his poor work ethic/training habits? It seems like a lot of hearsay. I don't doubt that there's some truth to it, but plenty of guys with maturity issues have still found success.

    Brek got the big England move. Couldn't get a game at Stoke. Dropped down to the Championship twice and did absolutely nothing. I'm not sure his attitude was the problem. I think he was just found out.

    I'd also disagree that he ever had 'elite dribbling ability'. When I think of elite dribblers, I think of people like Messi, Ronaldo, Hazard, M Laudrup, etc. Obviously a lofty standard, but I never saw even a glimmer of that in Brek's game.
     
  22. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The standard should be our own because that's who he's being evaluated for. And here's a *glimmer*



    Here's an article about his excellence before the European move.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/soccer-news/192510-dallas-shea-making-case-for-mvp-trophy

    Is he achieving anywhere near that right now? He wasn't figured out. He had been around a few years at this point.

    He was always a confidence guy though. He was abysmal in his debut for the U.S. before coming around to being useful. He would go through stretches in MLS where he would be turning the ball over or invisible. So he would be much like Jozy in that way and failing in England, only Jozy was much more mature as a person to eventually bounce back instead of let him defeat him. Also, Jozy didn't have the knee injuries.

    https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2013/7/31/4574910/brek-shea-knee-injury-stoke-city

    Brek was impressive in that game, then he came back as never the same. Not having world class speed in football now shows injuries were a factor.
     
  23. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 19, 2008
    Colorado
    Club:
    FC Metalist Kharkiv
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Feilhaber went straight to Hamburg when he turned pro.
     
  24. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Right. I was referring to chaps with attitude and work ethic issues.
     
  25. Honore de Ballsac

    Oct 28, 2005
    France.
    And I think that's relative.

    You could call Cuauhtemoc Blanco a detriment to Mexico but millions would disagree.

    Our lens is still Arenaball, IMO, which is a college soccer model that emphasizes the coach, the game plan, coachability, platooning, athleticism over individual talent. We have not had the confidence to commit to talent. I say this as a grateful Arena supporter.

    Arena had to rebuild our confidence, and had to keep winning. Getting results at all, in the 90's, was inspiring. Bob Bradley had to keep winning. Bob lost a game partly for taking attacking risks and was replaced. Then we finally had a coach with the big reputation, job security and directive to take risks to play more creative, attacking, proactive, Latin... all that stuff. And that coach talked a great game but wasn't a good coach, and lacked or lost faith in the vision and the American player, and doubled down on the workhorse/athletic model.

    Nguyen, Feilhaber, Mathis... they worked hard enough. Our perspective is screwed - hopefully not forever. The American style doesn't have to be Arenaball, game management and set pieces. Sounds pie in the sky, and I'm not one of these people who thinks we should fire everybody because we're doing everything wrong. But we should try to play more inspiring, skillful soccer.
     
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