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Shea replaces Gatt on USMNT Gold Cup squad

BrekShea1-Guatemala (Getty)


It turns out Brek Shea won’t be leaving the United States Men’s National Team roster after all.

USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced on Saturday that Shea will be taking the place of the injured Joshua Gatt in the Gold Cup roster. The Stoke City midfielder was due to return to his club in advance of the upcoming English Premier League season.

As reported previously by SBI on Wednesday, Gatt was ruled out of the Gold Cup after having his injured knee evaluated by the Molde FK training staff. The 21-year-old midfielder injured his knee in a Molde match last Saturday.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation for Josh,” said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in a press release. “This is now a couple of times that he has been injured after receiving a call up to the National Team, and it must be frustrating and disappointing. He has been making great progress and we were really looking forward to the opportunity to see him in action. We wish him all the best.”

Shea, who moved to Stoke City this past January from FC Dallas, has had to overcome numerous injury troubles of his own over the last six months, and struggled to earn much playing time this past season under Tony Pulis.

Klinsmann also announced that D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius has been added to the provisional 35-man roster. The Gold Cup Committee recently agreed to adjust some tournament rules by allowing every team in the competition to make up to three changes to their 23-man and 35-man rosters before July 6 at 12pm.

What do you think of this decision? Who would you have replaced Gatt with?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Qualifying XI vs. GC XI
    Who ya got in a heads up match?

    Altidore Gomez

    fabian J Dempsey Zusi or Shea Donovan Bedoya

    Jones Bradley Diskerud Holden

    Beasley Gonzo Besler Evans Castillo Gooch Goodson ParkHurst

    Howard Rimando

    • I would think that Fabian, Deuce, Zusi, Bradley, Jones and Jozy would just obliterate Gooch and Goodson up the middle.

      • That’s the key. It’s a fair fight if you give the gold cup team Cameron and guzab and another cb who isn’t 35 but even then Qualifying team should win that game.

    • I can see where the argument started… but let’s be honest the back line really ruins the discussion. Also Jones/Bradley>Disk/Holden. There would probably be some dangerous runs, but the A-team would snuff most of it out. Donovan would probably fool Gonzo into a goal, and they’d get a few more chances on good runs, but I think that this would end 3-1.

  2. Based on these roster moves, it appears JK has worked out an arrangement with Stoke. Pontius replaces Shea when it is time to go. Shea isn’t match fit, so it only helps for him to train now with the Nats.

    Pontius is a good choice, as he is in mid-season form. He can step in and contribute with little training.

    I doubt Shea starts Tuesday, as I’m not sure he can go a full 90 minutes yet. The same could possibly be said for Holden, as the GC collapses a lot of games into a short timeframe. Both may start off as subs.

  3. My lineup for tuesday
    Then bedoya, shea and mix or torres off the bench if we need a lift

      • Even playing at our worst we should control the match but still, like the 1st half against guatemala we controlled the match but yet needed a boost which was brought by holden

  4. This is what Klinsmann said some ten days ago:

    “With Brek, I had long talks and also with his new coach Mark Hughes and after those long talks we decided that it’s really best to Brek to join their preseason at Stoke (City) starting on July 8… It’s really, really important that he starts out well with Stoke and gets a starting spot there and breaks in in order for him to get a breakthrough in Europe.”

    What has changed? Makes me wonder…

    • JK lies all the time in the things he says. No surprise here. He lies when it is convenient for him and does the same with telling the truth. Very little of what he says is to be believed.

      • …Or maybe Hughes changed his mind about what was best for Shea and discussed again with Klinsmann Cant see JK risking Shea’s club time without the go ahead from Hughes.

        JK has been as honest and consistent as any US manager I can remember. But maybe you have inside knowledge to support such strong claims as calling someone deceitful and a liar. Maybe you phonetap all of US soccer’s talks, maybe you have an agent in Stoke to feed you intel. Do you work for the CIA?

      • Yeah, the possibility of follow up talks, people changing their mind and a combination of other changes within ten days…ten days!…is absolutely impos$ible. The fact of the matter is you do not have the facts and yet here you are accusing, no scratch that, sentencing JK to be a “liar” “who lies all the time”.

        You guys act like you’ve never changed your mind in your life or situations didn’t change for you – ever. Or is it that JK should announce every, single change or plan of his on here.

        I know things look different when perched on the “moral high ground” but sometimes a bit more consideration for lack of information and allowing room for the unknown can help in the judgement business.

      • So, you don’t think that it’s a bit odd that just a week ago it was “really, really important that he starts out well with Stoke” and all of a sudden it isn’t now? Gatt could’ve been replaced by a bunch of other players.

      • At the wing position? Not really given the list of 35 we have and the agreements with MLS teams not to bring on certain players until later.

        It is possible that with Gatt Shea didn’t figure to play much making his decision to go back to Stoke different than today where Shea figures to get a lot of game time during the Gold Cup.

        The circumstance changed, thus forcing a decision to be different. Doesn’t make anyone a liar.

      • Nope. One guy on provisional roster gets hurt and coach looks into adding another guy (from the very same provisional roster by the way) to replace the first hurt guy. No I don’t find anything odd with that one bit.

        Things changed and as in this case I suspect that priorities changed. I can see how JK called MH to see if Shea was available – based on the Gatt injury.

        I just find it way hard to see the oddity in any of this. JK’s job is to manage the roster and he’s doing just that. Maybe Hughes doesn’t rate Shea, maybe JK owes Hughes a bottle of fine wine or a deal is struck to leave Shea alone mid-season. Who knows?

        But JK doing his job and getting the best set of guys together? No, nothing odd to me at all.

    • What changed is Gatt’s injury was not minor. So I’m sure JK checked back in with Hughes, and he gave him the greenlight to keep Shea.

  5. As for the addition of Pontius, this confirms that Klinsmann could make a few changes in his provisional 35-man roster he had to submit in early June, meaning that he could have added Timothy Chandler, who he originally wanted for the Gold Cup and who is now fully fit and training with Nurnberg.

    Could it be that Klinsmann is finally fed up with Timothy and does not want to risk added bad chemistry to this USMNT Gold Cup Team? It is obvious this team is working well together and that the guys are getting along great and, more importantly, seem to be on a heartfelt mission to show that the B-Team can win this Gold Cup. Something about this roster I absolutely love. This is what I said when it was announced and the first game only reinforces this feeling. Really excited about this camp.

    • That was one workmanlike half and one excellent half against Guate. They also lost to Honduras and have two tough qualis coming up. The ones we just played were the easy part of the schedule, though we did well and maxed out. But you have to watch getting arrogant about player choices based on a self-serving perception of how you’re doing. We did pretty well for patchwork this summer but I wouldn’t stick with that for continuity’s sake.

      Put differently, I think it’s a tad naive to believe that Evans or Parkhurst are better than Chandler. That’s Bornstein level hubris and we’re about to play Mexico and CR away.

      • Couldn’t agree more about Evans & Parkhurst….as well as the potential hubris/complacency. However, you’re off on a couple points…namely that we finished the “easy part of our schedule” and we have to play Mexico away. In fact we just finished the more difficult half of the qualification process….and with a very make-shift inexperienced defense. What we have left CR & Panama away, and Mexico & Jamaica at Home.
        If we get a point against CR in the first match we’ll be in a very good position to take a top 3 finish. I think this will be very possible as we should be very close to full strength with Chandler, Donovan, Gomez, and likely Holden joining the squad…replacing Parkhurst & Davis. Additionally others could find their way into the conversation…Mixx, Shea, and possibly Bedoya the others pushing for inclusion.

    • I knew it would eventually come around to bashnTimmy Chandler time. It always does with some people.

      Truth is none of us know what is going on with him, only the USMNT staff and TC.

  6. Klinsmann obviously would not have decided to keep Shea for the Gold Cup without a green light from Mark Hughes at Stoke. And it makes perfect sense. If Shea is now fully recovered from his injuries, then playing competitive games in the Gold Cup can only help quicken his road to full fitness and he will be better shape to jump out of the starting gates when the PL season kicks off in August. So a win-win situation for the USMNT and for Stoke.

    • Just to add: Gotta say, I have high hopes for Shea because he does have potential to be a major force in WC 2014 if he can get it together, you know, totally devotes himself this next year to improving and working 24/7 instead of trying so hard to project a cool image and he needs to quit doing stupid stuff like tweeting a photo of himself in the locker room holding a pigs head.

    • This may mean Hughes either really likes or dislikes Shea. Maybe Hughes thinks he’s one of the players off the old roster who can translate to a more flowing style. Or if he dislikes him then maybe this is a way of shopping him, go play for the US, if someone is interested from that we’ll talk business. But I doubt a player in a borderline situation for a potential relegation battler (considering what happened at QPR to Hughes I’d be nervous) would be allowed to suit up for the red white blue if they weren’t sure where they stood.

  7. Happy to see Shea staying. He could easily use this opportunity to get some good experience before his return to Stoke.

  8. hahahahaha….of course. That’s a no brainer after that 6-0 scoreline





    Threat Con Bravo a.k.a “The Minnow Killers”… This Gold Cup is going to be Fun!!!!!!

      • I know, Chris Pontius is a dynamic player and is the spark of DC United especially with no Dero, not to mention he plays Cpt. Dempsey’s role in DC’s 4-2-3-1 formation and even though they lost to the sounder he was a threat throughout the match, running at defenders, creating openings for shots on goal, building plays and showing a lot of individual skill……if he can bring that same intensity to the USMNT he be a great addition especially with sevice from the likes of Holden, Diskerud………

  9. This makes me a little nervous, but this (club relations) is an area where I trust Klinsi. Hopefully he can get on a roll. He was rough last night but that’s to be expected.

    I am a huge fan and think he has as much talent as anyone outside of LD or maybe Stu on this team GC team, but he needs the right situation and needs to be getting reps on Stoke to be giving us what we need from him next summer.

  10. Agudelo is the biggest omission from this roster. He should have been added instead of Pontius or in place of Gordon/Bruin/Wondolowski.

    The kid has been on fire since he left the Chivas trainwreck. I think he would have done well combining with Corona, Diskerud and co.

  11. Shea fills a role on the wing. I’d love Magee to be filling the Wondo role at the moment, but in fairness, Wondo’s got a better track record over the last couple of years as the goal poacher. I’m just glad our options seem to be getting better.

    • Since the Gold Cup is a FIFA calendar event, he doesn’t HAVE to be back at Stoke, but that was the original plan.

  12. Couldn’t we have gotten Magee into one of those spots then? Could only players that had not played yet be replaced? I would much rather see him than Bruin, for example.

  13. Although I want to see Shea play, I think it is important for him to be back at Stoke to get acclimated to the new manager’s system. I think he stays for the group stage, and then pontius replaces him (if that’s allowed).

  14. I would have actually preferred Brek to leave the US squad to train with Stoke for the summer. I think he really needs to win over some of he Stoke coaches, and while he is sure to turn heads in the Gold Cup, I think he would make a more important impression on the Stoke training ground.

    • Agreed. However, on the flip side, perhaps this stint will improve his fitness/sharpness/drive so that when he does go, he’s in better shape to impress. Hope it all works out.

    • I agree that him impressing his manager at Stoke was more crucial….especially the season BEFORE the World Cup…..lets hope he can join them at full speed and not miss a beat….

    • After the group stages, teams can add to their rosters. I imagine Shea leaves after three games and Davis or Pontius replaces him. That way Shea comes into preseason a liotle late, but fit and sharper.

      People have to remember: that was Shea’s first game in months. Everyone else is either mid-season or coming off their season. I’m excited to see what he can do once he’s back to game fitness.

    • Whatever is best for him. Perhaps playing (hopefully) 7 competitive matches will put him into good form going into Stoke City. That’s a positive way to look at it.

    • @Danny Santos

      I am sure this was discussed with Stroke before the decision was made. There is a big difference between practice and getting actual game minutes. If I were Stroke Manager I would be more than happy to leave him there if he was going to get actual minutes. I think Shea will start.

    • Stoke is about to come here and play 3 MLS friendlies then go home and play Wrexham. If he plays well I doubt the coach holds it against him. This is actually probably pretty good prep work if he is/stays healthy.

    • I think playing competitive games at the international level is considered a higher priority than training with your club.

  15. Is Mark Hughes cool with this? I’d rather Shea not jeopardize his playing time with Stoke to play a few games against CONCACAF minnows.

  16. Shea was nasty last night. I think he has a good chance to beat out Castillo for the starting role, and I hope he does! His speed and ability to get crosses off will greatly benefit the USMNT in the gold cup.

    • Shea didn’t get on the field until the rout was already on. I want to see him do more than sprint to the corner to get onto the end of a pass. Shea needs to show that he can combine with other players and track back in defense. All he had to do on Friday was beat a tired outside back to the corner flag. Castillo didn’t look great but he was putting in much more work up and down the left side.

    • Castillo is a defensive back and Shea is a midfielder/winger. Defensive corner backs often run up the wings and cross into the box, but their main duty as a db is to cut of crosses in the box by wingers. Castillo is a good defensive back, but his crosses especially those closer to the box, are not the best.

      A winger like Eddie Lewis and now Marcus Beasley are sometime converted to left or right back when these slots are hard to fill. I think Castillo is left-footed and you dont easily find left-footed left backs.

      • I can’t tell for sure, but it sounds like you’re saying that Castillo and Shea aren’t in competition because they play different positions. The fact remains that while Castillo may have spent most of his career at defensive back, that’s not where Klinsmann played him on Friday. Therefore, its reasonable to believe that for the purposes of the gold cup, Shea and Castillo are indeed in competition.

      • Why the hell are you calling fullback “defensive back”? This is the USMNT not the Kansas City Chiefs.

      • Instead of fullback (those that generally block for the running back) you could use the more appropriate left back or flank defender.

      • If you don’t know that “fullback” is a commonly used term to describe outside back (i.e. “right backs” and “left backs”), you surely don’t deserve to make comments as snobby as that.

  17. Given that the US could make up to 3 changes to the rosters, I think perhaps Klinsmann should have made one or two other changes.

    • Those changes are still allowed. This is a preliminary injury switch and doesn’t come from the changes allowed after group play.

      • Sorry, I didn’t catch the *additional* changes that the tournament is allowing — just the original changes after group play.

    • Pontius and Shea are two changes. They would only have one left to make anyway. Who wouldyou suggest?


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