Stoke City concluded their tour of the United States with a comfortable 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union, but the game was rocked by an injury to Brek Shea of the United States National Team in the first half.
Shea, who has just returned from CONCACAF Gold Cup duty with the USMNT and scored twice in the tournament, suffered a poor tackle from Union defender Matt Kassel and will undergo an MRI scan today on what looks like ligament damage to his left knee.
That injury came just eight minutes after Shea scored the Potters’ second goal at PPL Park as he connected with a cross from Michael Kightly and diverted the ball into the net with his toe. Kightly had opened the scoring for Stoke after just four minutes, volleying home a cross from new signing Marc Muniesa.
The injury could not have come at a worse time for Shea, who scored the game-winning goal in the Gold Cup final on Sunday against Panama as the United States won 1-0. Stoke begin their Premier League season in just over two weeks’ time away to Liverpool on August 17, and Shea would have been determined to make an impact in the English top-flight after enjoying such success with the USMNT.
Having joined Stoke in January from FC Dallas, Shea’s time at the Britannia Stadium has been plagued with injury. He made just two appearances for the club last season before being ruled out for the rest of 2012-13 as his recovery from foot surgery was ongoing.
This latest setback will be all the more frustrating for the 23-year-old, especially given his recent rich vein of goalscoring form.