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Brek Shea, the USMNT, and One Amazing Week in Europe

With an improbable win over Germany on Wednesday, the USMNT capped off a successful expedition to Europe. Orlando City's own Brek Shea made the trip abroad with the Stars and Stripes, but how did he fare against some of the best players in the world?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The United States Men's National Team, it could be said, had a productive week in Europe.

Rally past Holland, the sixth-ranked team in the world? Sure.

Knock off Germany, kings of the sport after last year's World Cup victory? Why not?

While these may have just been friendlies, they're a pair of wins the USMNT will remember for a long time. And they provide a shot of confidence for Jürgen Klinsmann's men with the CONCACAF Gold Cup looming next month.

Along for the ride this week was Orlando City's own Brek Shea, who has become a regular on the post-World Cup U.S. national squad. But with a crowded preliminary Gold Cup roster released on Wednesday, a spot for Shea on this summer's tournament team is no guarantee.

So how did Shea do in his second trip to Europe with the USMNT?

Well, he didn't see the field in Wednesday's shocking win over Germany, replaced by Fabian Johnson in the American back line. It's an understandable move, as the Berlin-born Johnson was playing in his native country, but it still has to be frustrating for Shea to miss out on such an historic victory.

Still though, a starting nod against Holland doesn't come around every day, and Shea will forever be a part of the United States' starting XI that knocked off the Dutch, 4-3 in Amsterdam.

It wasn't all that bright a start for Shea, as he got away with a push on Jeremain Lens after an early Dutch set piece. But he was in good position on several United States chances within the first 15 minutes.

Then, in the 21st minute, he very nearly opened the scoring off a give-and-go with Aron Jóhannsson. Racing down the left flank, Shea couldn't quite beat Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen on the right post, but he demonstrated his ability to create space and get involved offensively off the back line.

When the Netherlands began to find their footing midway through the first half, Shea was tasked with stopping Memphis Depay and Quincy Promes from marauding down the left side of the pitch. While he allowed them to find space in the attacking third, the first Dutch goal scored by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was hardly Shea's responsibility.

On one Dutch romp that pulled Brad Guzan off his line, Shea stepped to the goal line and looked to pull off another kick save, similar to his memorable denial against D.C. United, but the opportunity never arose. Shea was then subbed out in the 57th minute for DeAndre Yedlin, who would assist on John Brooks' goal later in the half.

While 57 minutes was all Shea would get in Europe, it was hardly an unimpressive performance. More importantly for Orlando City fans, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to go this weekend against D.C. United.

The other news for Shea on the USMNT front came with the release of preliminary rosters for the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday. Surprisingly, DaMarcus Beasley was included on the list, even though the longtime U.S. left back had announced his international retirement following last summer's World Cup. He has offered to come out of retirement for the tournament this summer.

That could be a potential roadblock, along with Yedlin, to Shea seeing much playing time with the USMNT once the Gold Cup gets underway. A lot can change in a month, but it should be interesting to see if Shea is included in Klinsmann's long-term plans.