FC Dallas and its players have received their fair share of praise this year. Jürgen Klinsmann's recent naming of Brek Shea and Zach Loyd to the roster for the US Men's National Team's friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium are just further signs of the talent the Hoops are developing out in the hot, hot sun of Frisco, Texas.
Shea and Loyd join a roster filled with faces both new and old. Naturally, you will find your Landon Donovan, your Tim Howard, your Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu, Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, but with the tested standards there are some other faces—Teal Bunbury of Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz have been called up, as well as Edgar Castillo, Robbie Rogers and Michael Orozco Fiscal.
Klinsmann will surely look to replicate the success of the Rogers and Shea combination from the last friendly against Mexico. As US fans will recall, Shea's offensive work payed off soon after being subbed in, resulting in an easy poacher's effort for Rogers that put the Americans level with reigning Gold Cup victors Mexico.
While it would be a bit of an exaggeration to say Klinsmann is looking for the exact same link-up between Shea and Rogers that led to the goal against Mexico, the fact that Klinsmann has called up Shea shows the newly appointed US coach is well aware of just how effective Shea is when on the offensive.
Shea is dangerous when played in the winger position, a fact FC Dallas has relied upon throughout most of the season. His ability to create goals as well as play the role of poacher after an attempt is blocked has helped lead him to 10 goals in league play this year, good enough for third—just behind New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry and popular LA Galaxy midfielder Donovan.
While Loyd has not been at the forefront of goal scoring for the Hoops this year, the defender has been showing progress in the back and is developing into a talented defender. He has a single goal this year as well as three assists. He has been a part of the Dallas defense that has helped the team into its position in third place behind the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy in the Western Conference.
The selection of Shea and Loyd to the roster shows Klinsmann is well aware of what Dallas has been doing in Texas. Dallas fans should be more than ecstatic to have the chance to see Shea and Loyd get caps for their country, especially given what they have done on the field for the Hoops.
Additionally, it gives me good feelings for what is ahead for the US side when I see Klinsmann willing to call up not just the usual suspects but also some of the more promising youth talent developing in the United States.
You have to give younger players an early chance to get acclimated to the atmosphere of international competition. Friendlies are obviously a good time and place to not only do that but to also determine what kind of side will be on the pitch in the future.
For his first match with the team, Klinsmann did pick some younger players and others who had not seen much action during the Bob Bradley days.
Now that he has shown he can lead the core group of US regular starters to success (to be fair it was a draw, but after the first half of that match it was quite the exhilarating draw), he has decided to go just a bit beyond the list of USMNT regulars and pick a few players who he feels deserve a chance to play for their country. One example of this is Fabian Johnson, defender for Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim.
This mixture of newcomers and old standards will be refreshing, allowing fans a chance to see not only the heroes of the last World Cup but also the potential future stars of the team.
You can be sure I will be watching the matches when the US takes on Costa Rica and Belgium later this year.