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Brek Shea confident he can win USMNT left back spot

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Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

If there's one thing you can say about Brek Shea, it's that he doesn't lack confidence. Ever since he was a youngster with FC Dallas he's always had an air of confidence about him. It's been a rough three years for Shea since he left MLS in 2012. He endured an uneventful spell with Stoke City in the Premier League and several loan spells before coming back to MLS with Orlando City.

Last season he made his way back to MLS and the United States national team, even scoring a few goals for the USMNT, but finished the season injured in an otherwise forgettable season.

He's back to full fitness now and eager to prove he's still a top player and one that can make an impact for Jurgen Klinsmann's side as well as in MLS. Speaking to MLSSoccer.com, the 26-year-old is certain that he's still the best left back in the USMNT player pool.

"I have no doubts in my ability; I think if I stay healthy I will be with the national team," Shea insisted. "That's my mindset. Obviously I'm not the coach, but I don't think there's anyone who is better than me in that left-back position in the national team."

-Brek Shea; Source: MLS

Confidence is always important for an athlete, but sometimes the line between confidence and cockiness is blurred. Brek is a phenomenal athlete, but one that hasn't proven much at all in the last 3-4 years at any level. He's always shown flashes of brilliance at certain stages of his career, but never shown much consistency outside of a few years in Dallas.

Until he proves he can stay healthy and consistent, he should probably worry about himself rather than his competition for spots on the national team.

As far as his claim as being better than the other left back candidates, Jorge Villafana just won MLS Cup and is in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. You don't hear him saying he's better than anyone on the USMNT, he's patiently waiting his turn. That's how pro athletes should handle themselves and that's who should be rewarded with national team opportunities.