"I thought it was a very, very poor challenge," Hughes said. "I don't know what the hell [Kassel] was thinking."
Shea was playing in his first match with Stoke City since he scored the winning goal for the United States in a 1-0 victory over Panama in the Gold Cup final on Sunday. He went to the turf on a foul by Kassel in the 27th minute. Kassel received a yellow card on the play, and Shea limped to the locker room with the assistance of a pair of trainers.
Shea said he was not upset with Kassel, and added that Kassel apologized as he left the field.
"He was going for the ball," Shea said. "I tried to put my body in front of his. It's soccer; tackles happen."
The 23-year-old Shea put Stoke City ahead, 2-0, in the 19th minute with a skillful finish off his left foot. With the Union starting many of their substitutes, Stoke City capitalized and scored both its goals off aptly-placed crosses.
Michael Kightly also scored for Stoke City.
The Union inserted most of their regulars after halftime. Manager John Hackworth said the large-scale substitution was the plan all along.
"It was a good opportunity for us to get guys out and make sure they have the sensations of starting a game, going through warm-ups, listening to the national anthem . . . All those kinds of things are really important for players," Hackworth said.
Midfielder Danny Cruz and forwards Connor Casey and Sebastian Le Toux gave the Union life offensively in the second half but could not find a way to break Stoke City's back line.
The Union will return to their MLS schedule with a home game against Chicago on Saturday.
The Fire "can't drop any points, and we can't drop any points at this point," said Union forward Antoine Hoppenot. "We're so close to the playoffs . . . It's going to be an intense game."
Contact Mike Still at email@example.com.