Weary Shea heads back to MLS grind after US loss

Brek Shea

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HARRISON, N.J. – Brek Shea went back on the road on Wednesday morning, bound for Chicago and another MLS match less than 24 hours after his latest appearance with the US national team.

Shea started and logged 45 minutes in the US’ 1-0 loss to Ecuador on Tuesday night, but there’s little rest for one of the best young players in the league.

The 21-year-old is undoubtedly among the young players that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann had in mind when he said in a press conference earlier this week that the MLS offseason was too long and that the league needed to stretch the season to 11 months. It is a difficult equation for Shea, who has featured prominently for the national team this year in addition to being a regular starter for FC Dallas in league play and the CONCACAF Champions League.

“There’s times where I definitely feel fatigue,” Shea said Tuesday. “I just have to take care of my body; this past week I’ve done well in camp getting well rested and at the same time working hard. I feel rejuvenated.”

Shea has featured in all five US games under Klinsmann’s watch, but it may have taken its toll. The toughest task was certainly a trip to Belgium in early September that resulted in a soggy 1-0 loss for the Americans in Brussels.

“After the Belgium trip, I felt pretty burnt out,” Shea said. “I feel like I’ve got my legs back, and I feel like how I’ve been feeling earlier in the year.”

With a good performance in the previous friendly win against Honduras and then another solid outing Tuesday night, Klinsmann praised the play of the winger and his match fitness.

“His fitness level is good. We trained really high intensity the whole eight, nine days in camp,” Klinsmann said. “He’s young and full of energy and full of enthusiasm, and our job going forward is to take the players’ schedule and look at every individual schedule in order to bridge the gap toward the next season.

“We need to make sure Brek stays in rhythm and the others as well as they go toward the end of their season.”