Talent Scout: Brek Shea, FC Dallas

David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg and Rafael Márquez, there's been no shortage of European stars tempted Stateside in recent years, but as another MLS season draws to a close, the sustainability of clubs acquiring ageing big name players is in question, for a league still in its early stages of development.

The key to the MLS finding its feet and creating deep roots with the game comes with home grown talent, and for a country desperately seeking the next footballing American Idol, FC Dallas winger Brek Shea heads a growing list of exciting US prospects.



A product of the Bradenton elite Residency program in Florida, Shea is a 21-year-old versatile midfielder, who benefited from a schooling at one of the countries best academy setups. Now, after a break-through season with Dallas, the race is on to secure his signature.



There have been plenty of American starlets over the years, many of whom were simply over-hyped or pushed too far and too soon, such is the desire for the US to produce the next football superstar. But with Shea, who has had opportunities to head to Europe before, there looks to be tangible end product.



At six foot three inches tall, he began his career in defence, playing all over the back four, before being enticed into increasingly attacking berths. The Texan-born youngster now finds himself as a left winger, and despite occasional moves forward and back, its a role that best displays his array of talents.



The most noticeable of which is Shea's intelligence and instinct in the final third. He has a natural ability of drifting across his defending full back and into space between centre backs when without the ball, then with it, he has some neat foot work, balance, poise and can shift weight easily between legs to get himself out of trouble.



Shea is very much a modern winger, with a knack of cutting inside and following up shots, meaning a healthy goal tally from midfield. Other traits such as high speed dribbling, changing direction at pace and shooting from short and long range he does well, but its the old fashioned wing work that he must improve.



A move to Europe looks imminent, where Shea needs to work on the defensive side to his play, shielding the ball better and tracking back, while also final delivery on crosses, which is a little patchy and inconsistent at present.



That said, these are all things that can be tided up, when, not if, he's plucked from the MLS. A keen painter, Shea looks like he may well paint a trial for a new wave of American prospects to follow.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before