Brek Shea, a possible fringe member of the U.S. World Cup squad in June, is under investigation after allegedly making a gesture toward his own team’s fans over the weekend during a game in England’s second division. The Stoke City Sentinel writes that Shea, on loan at Barnsley, tried to restrain teammate Stephen Dawson in front of the club’s traveling supporters after the final whistle. Something went sour and it resulted with Shea, who didn’t play in the match, being accused of giving a “two-fingered gesture” to the Tykes supporters.
Barnsley currently sit last in the English Championship table — two points from safety — so you could see why everyone was testy after a 5-0 loss to Huddersfield. The club is investigating Shea’s involvement and will announce it’s decision after he returns from USMNT duty. Dawson has already made a donation to a local hospice and apologized for his participation in the event.
In the age of camera phones it’s hard to believe that zero pictures or video of the incident exist on Twitter or elsewhere. Barnsley fans on social media seem fairly convinced it happened with some very NSFW language hurled at the American winger. (Once again searching for an athlete’s name on Twitter leaves you wanting to purge you memory immediately afterward.)
For his part Shea is staying, as you’d guess, chill about it.
However this is resolved, it’s another disappointing headline for Shea and his ill-fated foray into English soccer. The Texan moved from FC Dallas to Stoke in 2013 and only played three times for the club before being loaned out to Barnsley, where he’s similarly failed to impress. Even so, U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann called him into the team for Wednesday’s scheduled friendly with Ukraine in Cyprus. (Reports are beginning to circulate the game is canceled. Update: the U.S. Soccer Federation says game with proceed as scheduled. )
In July, after the U.S. won the Gold Cup with Shea contributing, both Ty Duffy and I had Shea as one of the last three men on the U.S. World Cup roster. A few months later, in our latest projection Shea was included in a group of guys with “lots of work to do” to crack the 23-man roster.
Reading the tea leaves, Shea might be the next U.S. international on his way back to MLS sooner rather than later. [H/T @FutbolIntellect]