The USMNT’s preliminary Copa America roster didn’t have that many surprises. In fact, some would argue that it had no surprises. That doesn’t mean that no one was left off, however.
The main two players that were left off of the USMNT are Union striker C.J. Sapong and Orlando City fullback Brek Shea. We have covered Sapong’s regrettable lack of inclusion at length, including earlier today. But Brek Shea’s neglect has been pretty, well, neglected by us as well. And that’s a shame because Shea has proven how much he deserves to be representing this nation.
Instead of Shea, Klinsmann opted for Kellyn Acosta, Edgar Castillo, Timmy Chandler, Brad Evans, Eric Lichaj, Tim Ream and DeAndre Yedlin. Most of those inclusions make sense. However, since we are going to propose that Shea should have been included, we therefore have to back it up with who should be removed. Despite his experience, I will point to Brad Evans of the Seattle Sounders.
Shea outshines Evans in just about every statistical category. For starters, Shea is five years younger and figures to be a much bigger factor come the World Cup in 2018. So why not get him started now?
Not only that, but, as far as being a ‘veteran’ goes, Evans is only a veteran because of his age. Shea has more experience with the national team, making 34 appearances to Evans 26. Shea has scored four international goals to Evans’ one as well. It’s a clean sweep on the international board. He has even scored two goals in five starts for the USMNT in international friendlies this year alone. Shea should have been the go-to.
As far as what they are doing with their club this year, Shea takes the cake again. While Evans plays primarily as a center back for Seattle, he is also used in wide areas by the USMNT. Despite the fact that Evans is playing centrally, in a zone where he is asked to make more defensive actions, he still manages to only remain level with Shea as far as those defensive actions are concerned. Shea completes just as many tackles and more interceptions.
Meanwhile, we have seen what Shea can do on the offensive end. He has scored a goal and an assist. Just in case you forgot the goal he scored, check out the video above.
This is a bizarre neglect by Jurgen Klinsmann and unsurprisingly, Shea spoke out about it. “I haven’t spoken to [Klinsmann about it]. Obviously I was surprised and frustrated, but they obviously have reasons to do what they do. There’s nothing I can do about it, just have to move on and try to get better.”
Hopefully Shea will find his way back into the red, white and blue soon. He deserves it.