[MLS]Once FC Dallas had traded striker Carlos Ruiz to Los Angeles, speculation began regarding who would pick up the scoring slack. Coach Steve Morrow is still negotiating the acquisition of Chilean forward Reinaldo Navia. Forwards Ricardinho, Dominic Oduro, Kenny Cooper and Abe Thompson are vying for playing time; Roberto Mina, unable to reach agreement on a new contract, is not. On Tuesday, FC Dallas got goals from an unlikely source.
Yet the attacking skills former U.S. under-17 international Brek Shea displayed at the MLS Combine that prompted Morrow to draft him are factoring into the preseason. Shea, the second overall pick in the SuperDraft, scored both goals Tuesday as FCD played a 2-2 tie with Clube Atletico Paranaense's under-20 team during its visit to the CAP facilities in Curitiba, Brazil.
Playing a left-sided attacking role in a 3-4-3 formation being tested by Morrow in preseason, the 18-year-old Shea tied the game 1-1 nine minutes into the second half on a feed from Oduro, who raced past a defender and the goalkeeper to slide a pass Shea knocked into the open net.
In the 70th minute, Shea redirected a long punt from keeper Dan Kennedy to opposing keeper Neto who stopped it with his chest on the edge of the penalty area. The rebound bounced out to Shea, who chipped the stranded keeper for his second goal.
At the SuperDraft Morrow had said of Shea, "Maybe Brek opened some eyes at the combine but we already had him very high on our list. He knows the game very well, he's very technical and good in tight situations. He's able to see things and is a good passer. He just impressed me with all his qualities."
Not surprisingly, Neto came out of the game immediately after Shea's second goal. Shea nearly netted the hat trick when Oduro again played him into the penalty area, but replacement keeper Rafael got a leg on his shot. Substitute Ricardinho went close to scoring as well before the CAP under-20s notched an equalizer when Manoel headed past Kennedy.
FC Dallas is 1-0-1 so far on its tour. It beat J. Malucelli of the Brasileiro Série C, 2-1, on Monday with goals by Cooper and midfielder Bobby Rhine. Strangely enough, when the teams met last year, FC Dallas won by the same score with goals by the same players.
Morrow used two completely different starting lineups in the two matches and all four goalkeepers -- Ray Burse, Dario Sala, Josh Lambo, and Kennedy -- have played one 45-minute half. Ricardinho, Oduro, Aaron Pitchkolan, David Wagenfuhr, Michael Dello-Russo and Anthony Wallace played in both matches.
Dallas plays its host Thursday at the Kyocera Arena in the first leg of the USA-Brazil Challenge. The second leg is set for March 22 at Pizza Hut Park. The Brazilian match schedule concludes Saturday with a game against Avai Fútbol Clube of Serie B at the Estadio Adolfo Gonder in Florianópolis.