Major League Soccer MVP Candidate: Brek Shea

Brek Shea has tailed off as the season has worn on, but the only reason FC Dallas is where they are is because of their midfielder's play. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)

Big D Soccer's Daniel Robertson weighs in on Brek Shea's MVP quality season.

This season will always be known by FC Dallas fans as the year Brek Shea finally came of age. Shea, who has shown flashes of greatness in the past but was never been able to put together the full package finally had a full season in 2011, scoring 11 goals and registering four assists through the first 33 games of the FC Dallas season. However, this is not a case for Shea to make MLS Best XI, a slam-dunk selection, this is why he is an MLS MVP candidate.


With 22 SB Nation Soccer editors casting ballots, 11 different players received at least some consideration. This table shows how many 1st and 2nd place votes, how many total points (3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd) and how many ballots each player received. Click the player's name to go to their MVP profile:
1st 2nd total ballots
Brek Shea 5 4 28 13
Brad Davis 3 7 26 12
Mauro Rosales 3 4 21 11
Dwayne DeRosario 4 1 17 8
Fredy Montero 3 1 12 5
Landon Donovan 0 2 7 5
Thierry Henry 1 1 6 3
David Beckham 2 0 6 2
Osvaldo Alonso 1 1 5 2
Sebastien Le Toux 0 1 3 2
Omar Gonzalez 0 0 1 1

When David Ferreira, the 2010 MLS MVP, went down with what has become a season-ending ankle injury most around Dallas were wondering who would shoulder the offensive load of a team that was stacked at the back but thin up top. Enter Shea whose offensive exploits led Dallas on a remarkable run through the middle months of the season and earned Dallas enough points to withstand a late-season slump. Due almost solely to Shea's offense, Dallas goes into the last game of the season needing a win to equal the points per game total of their Western Conference Championship 2010 season, a remarkable feat considering the loss of Ferreira.

Perhaps the best thing about Shea's performances this season is how important the 11 goals scored by the blonde Texan have been. With one game left in the season, Shea is tied with Andres Mendoza and Freddy Montero for the league lead in game winning goals (5), while almost half of his goals have earned the points for Dallas. As Shea goes, so goes FC Dallas as you can see by their 9-2-1 record when Brek registers a goal or and assist compared to a 6-9-6 when he doesn't get on the score sheet.

For FC Dallas to have any hope of a return to MLS Cup in 2011, they'll need Shea, more than any other player, to be at his best in the playoffs. That's what an MVP is all about.

Daniel Robertson is the managing editor of FC Dallas blog Big D Soccer. Follow him on Twitter at @BigDSoccer.

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