A tough year for young American star Brek Shea went from bad to worse on Wednesday night. The 22-year-old winger exchanged words with head coach Schellas Hyndman after being substituted in the 64th minute of Dallas’ 2-1 loss at San Jose.
Shea posted a breakout Best XI season in 2011, but has struggled this year. He has only three goals and no assists. He has not produced either in his last seven appearances. So with FCD losing 2-0 in the second half, Hyndman substituted Shea in favor of Carlos Rodríguez.
After his exchange with Hyndman, Shea sat on the end of the bench with a towel draped over his head. He was then kept away from the media after the match.
HIGHLIGHTS: San Jose 2, Dallas 1
“I don’t really think that he needs to vent his frustrations on his performance or my subbing him because I think he’s in enough hot water already,” Hyndman explained to reporters.
The situation is just the most public outburst of what has been simmering for quite some time. A perfect storm of injuries, suspension and changing roles on the squad has left Shea struggling to find the form that saw him rise to the forefront of Major League Soccer and the US national team.
And it has left Hyndman struggling to find the right way to help his young star.
“I can’t make a comment [to what’s going on in Brek’s head],” he said. “I don’t know.”
However, Dallas player-assistant coach Daniel Hernandez didn’t stay away from the media after the San Jose game, venting his own frustration in a conversation with ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.
"I thought [Shea] was very disrespectful, not only just to Schellas, but I thought to the rest of the team," Hernandez said. "He's a young guy still, but this shows the immaturity there in him, and I think a lack of professionalism that right now, at this point in the season, the way things have been going for us, we can't have.”
FC Dallas have just one win in their last 15 games, and only four overall on the season, the lowest total in the league. They are eight points out of a playoff spot ahead of two crucial home games against Portland and LA. Getting Shea back on the same page with the rest of the squad will be essential to ensuring the squad remains competitive in the hotly contested Western Conference playoff race.