Hey Goal.com readers,
This is Brek Shea (@brekshea), winger for the United States national team and FC Dallas. I'm checking in from the Under-23 camp as we get ready for big qualifying games later this month in Nashville and Kansas City. Guys are hungry and excited to get things going.
I'm having fun with the U.S. Under-23 squad.
We're all the same age, so it's good to catch up with guys you have been playing with since the residency program and the U-17 team. It's been good, I've really enjoyed it. Everyone is pretty close with everyone.
The difference between the senior national team and youth levels is familiarity.
With the senior team, there's always the rotation of guys selected so sometimes it can be an adjustment. When you're a younger player, you obviously have to carry more things around and yes, there is an initiation that takes place on your first cap. I guess I have to share some details of my experience.
I had to stand on a chair and sing. I'm 6-foot-4 so imagine what the balance was. They'd ask me really hard questions. They try to embarrass you. It wasn't fun. I was sweating so hard I don't even remember the song.
I remember Clint Dempsey had a question. "Can you hold your hands up during this whole thing, so we can see your pit stains?" he asked. That's the only question I remembered.
Because of all the training and team activities that we do together, during the off hours most players like to do their own thing. Occasionally, guys do chill or catch up.
As I write this, I am actually listening to Juan Agudelo trying to play Piano.
I'm just joking. Juan is actually pretty good at playing. I'm impressed. He's inspired me to take up fiddling. Maybe #teammohawk can have a band going.
Juan and I traveled together to the U-23 camp after my FC Dallas beat his New York Red Bulls 2-1 in the season opener. I tried not to rub it in too much, but we already got our revenge for them knocking us out of the playoffs last season.
It was good to get a win at home. We had a great crowd and you could tell the difference with NBC Sports being there. I thought we took control early and held on well at the end of the game.
Plus with the stars that the team has, a lot of people expect that the Red Bulls should win even if every team is a work in progress at this stage. I'm glad at FC Dallas, we don't have that attention on us as much. We like being the underdogs even if we don't surprise anyone anymore. People know that we are a good team and I'm happy with what the team has right now.
Another thing that's funny about being an athlete is how things can get overblown.
People blew up on twitter after Juan pushed me in a little scuffle on the field. People were like, "Oh, you guys aren't friends anymore."
Listen, everyone wants to win. Just because it can get a bit heated on the field doesn't mean that that affects our relationship.
People are mainly just messing with each other, just trying to get in their heads. In that game for example, I slapped Juan and the ref didn't even call it. I was talking to him throughout the game about it. It's just good fun.
I hope I didn't disappoint with the new hairdo
I mean I don't think it's anything too crazy. A purple streak mohawk. It was pretty dark on game day but it's kind of washed out now and looks like a light purple. But I like it a lot better now.
I came into FC Dallas with a silver suit, a purple bowtie and vest. I'll see what I can do during the international run.
Till next week,