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BREAKING: Shea being sold to Stoke City pending physical


The long and winding saga that has been Brek Shea’s inevitable departure to Europe has taken yet another strange turn as just days after it seemed he might not be heading anywhere during this transfer window now comes word that he is on the verge of a transfer move.

FC Dallas and Stoke City have agreed on a transfer deal for Brek Shea, pending a physical, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday night. Shea left for England on Monday evening and will head to Stoke, where he will undergo a physical that will provide the final hurdle to a transfer. The details of the transfer, and the fee, were unknown at this time, but what does look clear at this point is that, barring a failed physical, Shea will be joining Geoff Cameron at Stoke City.

The move had long been rumored (and first reported by ESPN TV analyst Taylor Twellman), and appeared to be dead after reports claimed MLS had stepped in and asked for too high a price for Shea, but sources tell SBI the transfer took a normal course of negotiation and has culminated with a transfer agreement being reached.

Stoke City made an initial $3 million offer for Shea, which FC Dallas countered with a price of more than $4 million. Stoke was initially hesitant to make a deal without seeing Shea train, but that stipulation fell by the wayside as negotiations went on for more than a week. Ultimately, Stoke City was given assurances of Shea’s health (sources tell SBI that Shea is close to being able to play) and now just a physical stands in the way of Shea completing a move that will likely be in the $3.5 million and $4 million range.

So is the move a good one for Shea? There will be concerns about the move because of the fact Maurice Edu received no playing time upon his move to the Potters, but Edu joined on a free very small transfer whereas Shea would be heading to Stoke for a multi-million dollar fee like Geoff Cameron, who has settled in well with the Potters since joining the club last summer.

What do you think of this development? See Stoke City being a good fit for Shea? Think FC Dallas can make the playoffs in 2013 without Shea?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Well, I think the league should stop selling their best young guns, but hey it’s only going to build our MLS brand as whole and Shea skills will improve which will benefit the USMNT. So it’s a plus for everyone.

  2. Brek Shea would be wise to demand a release clause in his Stoke contract, just in case he does well and starts getting offers from better teams. Maybe around 6 to 8 million would be fair to both sides. Lot of players in the PL are demanding release clauses and I imagine Stoke would agree if it would be a deal-breaker.

  3. Sink or swim time for him. He just isn’t progressing in MLS, whether that’s his own fault or not is up for debate, but his inconsistent performances won’t fly in the premier league. The knock on Shea has always been his work ethic and inconsistency. The talent is there. If he can sort out his issues with this new challenge we may see a greatly improved Brek Shea. If not, he will most likely be back in MLS in a few seasons. A change of scenery and new challenge will hopefully light a fire under him.

  4. I guess this is why I’m not a big time scout in the world of soccer. I just don’t see it with Mr. Shea. Maybe the Stoke folk know something about how he’ll do in their system. I with him all the luck though.

  5. Really FCD? I guess the business plan of keeping a half full stadium is working for ya! From a pure soccer stand point im glad for Brek. He is going to shine given a little time. From an FCD STH stand point WTH! First your start to build your team around Kenny Cooper and sell him to Europe. Now you are going to sell a player that you were building around to Europe. Tell me why the hell as a STH do I want to see a South American track team in Frisco. Why give anyone decent length contract when you are going to sell them. FCD had Brek locked up till what 2015? Odds are that he wanted to go Im sure but you have to keep quality. Last season he lept off the bus but now we get to see a bunch of guys that are totally unmarketable. SIGH

    • as another STH I totally agree. WTF is Clark Hunt doing there? Looking at his day job results in KC isn’t encouraging either. I’m beginning to wonder not why the place is half-full but rather how they draw that. The absence of Quinn (for stupid self-inflicted reasons) can’t help. At least he really helped the game day experience. What is the organization’s big idea? Become a selling club featuring young players? If so why aren’t more of them getting minutes? Nightmare fear: desperate for a personality to market, the trade for Adu.

      • you do not want Freddy in Dallas, he is a very disruptive force on every MLS team he has been with. TT lots of players with Philly and they hated him.

    • Stoke goin nowhere? 5 seasons in PL?? Lost 6 games all season same as arsenal 3 more than utd?? why haven’t the big clubs cum in for him?? Coz stoke see’s something they don’t nd u won’t get a better atmosphere than u will at stoke

  6. Not sure why so many people bring Edu up as an example. Edu would be middle of the pack cdm in MLS. His CL experience and his free transfer is probably the only reason Stoke took a chance on him. I don’t even think he has the skill to be on USMNT unless its as a backup CB. That said Brek has incredible amount of skill and drive currently, with a very high upside. He’s good enough to play in an epl and frankly needs to be challenged.

    On anither note seems like all the national team guys are listening to JK except LD. Look at the stink deuce made (yes I meant that, it’s layered too considering he plays for the scum now #coyg), to get on a bigger team. Next Agudelo needs a move to Germany not Celtic, and Zusi probably to England.

  7. Definitely too soon.

    He should stay in MLS 1 more season and recover from his injury and get his form back.

    Rotting on the bench at stoke like Edu is just going to set him back.

    • It depends on how much slack they cut him. If he gets half a season like Edu you might be right. If he’s a long term project, he could start slow and still get there.

      I will say it’s risky internationally speaking, but then he’s lost traction there anyway, roll the dice.

  8. Hope it goes well and he can grow as a player. If the deal had crashed and Shea had to go back to Dallas I think it would have had a negative effect on him.

  9. I think people are WAY too quick to just think, yay Europe, or yay England.
    He is going to a team that has scored 22 goals….in 23 games.

    Just my thoughts, but I am biased being American for obvious reasons, I would rather he play here.

    • He’s played here and now it’s time to test himself in the epl. If he improves and helps the national team then more American sports fans will be drawn to soccer. It helps mls.

    • they’ve scored 22 goals in 23 games…exactly why they need him and will give him a chance to shine. if he were going to a club that had no problems scoring goals, then he probably wouldn’t see the field, because his game is creating goals.

  10. Brek has been playing in the heat so long i cannot wait to see how his effort will is really tough to get on to players for their 90 min effort in 110 degree field what I’m saying is that he will have to get used to playing both ways in midfield and not taking any plays off. That said id still rather see him become a second striker. .fcd sth

    • It will be interesting to see how he play in the EPL. It will also be interesting to see how FCD does in 2013 with their wing play of Jackson and Castillo.

      • When Houston played FCD I thought FCD was strong coming up the wings on a day Shea did not play but basically lacked anything approaching the ability to cash in. Houston did cash in and won. What FCD needs is strikers.

  11. Good move for Shea, but with much risk. After watching him totally unfocused at FCD (when he played) its time for him to step up. Keep in mind that a middling League 1 English player would cost at least that with less upside. Yanks are bargains and haven proven to be worth gambling on in most cases. Stoke scouted a lot of MLS games watching Cameron so they know what they’re getting. My biggest fear is that he fails the physical…he will return even more of a head case.

    • Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s pretty rare to fail a physical unless you are not in shape or have a previously undiagnosed heart/lung/joint condition.

      • Wrong. The medicals players undergo also test joints and ligaments so if it uncovers some previously unreported condition, like maybe they find a fracture or torn ligament. Not so say Shea’s in danger of that, but medicals are far from cakewalks. They’re extremely thorough, a lot of money is on the line.

  12. Am I the only one who thinks Brek is being wasted on the wings somewhat.Hes 6’3, has strength and pace i dont know if his finishing is good enough for the highest level.But isn’t his optimum position as a fwd leading the line?

    • Not sure I’d call it wasted.

      To me, I don’t focus much on his height. He doesn’t play 6’3, imo, much like Kenny Cooper. There are times where it’s an asset and generally most times it’s irrelevant.

      Plus, I think playing striker is an attitude. If you don’t have it, it’s not for you, regardless of height.

      • Agreed. He played a lot of striker at the youth levels and wasn’t able to thrive like he has on the wing because he’s just not that physical. On the wing, he has more space to be creative which plays to his strengths. His long legs are not great for quick bursts in traffic, but once he gets moving on the wing with space, he’s tough to catch.

    • Actually, I’d say he has strength and skills but his transition issue (junior to senior play) has been he’s not the paciest ever. If he could blow by people he’d be Landon level with his skills. Maybe his future does lie elsewhere if he is not going to be amazingly pacy or fit….wingback, forward like you say.

  13. Fantastic move if he can just grow up and play and train to the manager’s specifications. Stoke and the BPL will teach him the discipline, tactics, first touch and crossing skills he needs. He’s got a lot of the creativity and versatility that makes Deuce so great. He’s got even more speed and size too. I’m just not sure he has Clint’s drive.

    • Wow, I am glad to here that the …”BPL will teach him the discipline, tactics, first touch and crossing skills he needs.” I guess he never leaned any of that kind of fancy soccer stuff over here, that is so new to us!

      • BPL is more demanding, both from the sheer hours of training to the challenges for playing time which will either force Brek to grow up and be more disciplined or he wont even dress. It is also a more diverse tactical league as opposed to MLS which almost all teams play 4-4-2. You can also get away with playing looser in MLS if you’re as talented as Brek whereas each player on Stoke has to fill a specific tactical role or else they will be overrun. Stoke also relies greatly on crosses into the box, so Brek will get tons of practice in that regard. The greater speed of play will also force Brek to refine his first touch as Deuce did.

    • I agreed with you until you said “Clint’s drive.” Yes, Demps can score goals – but he is not a leader like Bradley. And he doesn’t hussel like Donovan (used to). Ever wonder why he’s not in discussion for the captaincy?

      • He leads more by example. I respectfully disagree about his hustle. I think it depends on his role with the team. With Fulham towards the end and sometimes with USMNT, he’s played a floating role where he’s the only real scoring threat so he’s focusing on being available for the counter rather than ball winning. If you’ve watched him recently with Spurs, his early stint with the Cottagers or with USMNT during the Confed Cup, the guy is hustling and winning balls like crazy.

    • Why not? Personally I Prefer he go to a good situation in the Bundesliga.I think he could shine brighter there since its more technical less kick ball.I think Stoke is a very good situation for him too IMO.He could beat out Kightly Etherington and Pennant easily, after he settles.

      • I agree. Stoke doesn’t light me up as a destination.

        Sure, Brek is a big kid.

        But they play ugly.

        All that hilarious stuff out of England about “yeah, but can Lionel Messi do it on a wet evening at Stoke” — it’s no accident Stoke was the example.

        Engerland. Engerland. And all that.

      • It was most certainly not an accident and entirely intended. The line was actually coined because the chance is that Messi probably couldn’t ‘do it’ on wet, windy evening at the Britannia Stadium… We’d see glimpses of his outstanding ability for sure, but he wouldn’t be able to be the player he is in La Liga… He wouldn’t get the time on the ball, he’d be closed down much quicker, and the play is much more physical. So I find your comment quite derogatory! Stoke were picked for that line because there aren’t many who can come to Stoke and do it on a cold, wet, windy night…. not even the great man himself. That said, our form is slipping and we need to get back on top of the issues that are plaguing us at the moment.

        The fact that Arsenal didn’t come in for Brek after his training session there, indicates that he isn’t up to the standard of the top 6, then you (currently) have Liverpool, Swansea, West Brom and Stoke to finish the top 10… So why does Stoke not light you up? We are a solid mid table club, striving to push on and improve. We have a host of international players that are proven in the most difficult league in the world, yet you’re hoisting this unproven (at this level at least) 22 year old onto the top of a gold plated flag-pole like he’s too good for us?…

        FYI, Stoke City FC is one of only a handful of clubs in the country with Category 1 Academy Status, showing our ability to manage the talents of young players and coaching the ‘elite’ players of tomorrow. Brek (and you) should consider it a privilege to come to this team and this league, many players world over can only but dream to play for a top 10 Premier League Club…

        Rant Over, and that said, I hope this deal does come off because we’re desperately in need of a left winger and the fact he’s young will help him mould into the player that he needs to be in order to be successful in this league. I also think that American players represent good value, as Geoff Cameron has shown here, your athletes seem to be dedicated , professional and hard working.

  14. I think it’s a great move for Shea. He, along with a few other guys, is the future of the USMNT and should be playing in a top league like the EPL. Stoke is a nice mid-table team for him to join and break in at. He will definitely get some time on the pitch and have a chance to shine. The Edu situation does not concern me…..two totally different players. Frankly, Brek has way more ability than Edu.

  15. Count me as skeptical over the move. This isn’t because I don’t support or like Shea’s ambition and desire to improve (we can all agree EPL is an improvement over MLS) but because I don’t like the destination. I am someone who believes Shea has the potential to reach another level and become a dynamic attacking player. I am also worried the step up may be a bit too much at this moment. And this isnt to doubt his own personal drive or professionalism, I think he can be a successful player in EPL but is he really EPL class at the moment? Its hard for me to say. What I do know is that Dempsey was a far more accomlished player when he moved to Fulham and it took him around 8 months to be a true first team contributer week in and week out. Is Stoke the setting for a young, almost, but not quite, there attacking player to grow? Will they see the bigger picture and allow a 3.5-4 million player learn his trade slowly? Does Stoke even have the coaching staff for that? I don’t know. I just hope too much pressure isn’t thrown on him and the next 4-5 months are understood as space to bed in. Anything more than that would be awesome but surprising.

    • Zusi just came back from training with West Ham and said the step up from MLS wasn’t that big. I’d think West Ham and Stoke are pretty much on par with each other. Perhaps us fans don’t rate MLS high enough or (more likely) rate the EPL to highly.

      The success of Shea is 100% on him. He’s had the potential for years. He needs to maintain his focus longer and train harder than he ever has. That will be his biggest hurdle.

      • Travis – This is the most accurate and open minded comment about the MLS vs EPL comparison I’ve ever seen especially the over inflated perception of the EPL. Outside of the top 10-15 teams in the world the MLS is not a very big jump if any from these other leagues. I’d get those teams from 3-4 EPL/2-3 La Liga/1-2 Bundesliga/1-2 Italian Serie A/1 Argentine Primera Division/1 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and 1 from Liga MX.

      • MLS is my favorite league, but it is not on the same level as the BPL. It is roughly the same level as the English second division in talent, but not pay.

        MLS teams are getting better, but still cannot match Liga MX on the pitch, and the Mexican first division is not comparable to the BPL as well.

        I really can’t see most of the teams in MLS being able to compete with Liverpool, Stoke, or Southampton. There is a bigger gap in talent then what appears in league play.

      • In fairness though, you can’t base a league’s difficulty based on a few training sessions with a team… Cutting it on the training pitch with West Ham and cutting it out on the field against the likes of Manchester Utd, Man City, Chelsea et al is a completely different kettle of fish and just can’t be compared to a few training sessions!
        That is the crux of this league, there are countless players who ‘should’ be able to play in this league, and by all accounts have the skill required and look damn good showing a bit of flair out on the training pitch, but in a match situation with hulking great centre halves breathing down your neck letting you know you’re not going anywhere in a hurry, that same player can look lost, and completely bewildered!

  16. I hope he becomes the next mexicutioner.Would love him to burn all those midgets with his runs on the left.Heres to the next ten years of shea b-slapping el tri.

  17. Does Stoke have a minimum height requirement to play with the team? Am i crazy or are they the tallest team in the world, ever?

    • YES! I had the same thought when I first heard this rumor. They clearly accepted the challenge to have the tallest person in the world at any given position.

  18. If he can get some consistent minutes through the remaining season (1st Sub off the bench ~20-30 minutes per game)…and transition into a starter in the Fall this could be a very good move for Shea & the USNT.
    Having Shea, Gatt, Corona, Bedoya, Mix, and possibly Gyau stepping up their games and contributing will improve the width and attacking capability of the NT. Add a healthy and back to form Holden, a Re-committed Donovan, and the dependable Bradley & Dempsey….and suddenly the Midfield/Attack becomes a real strenght with a combination of strenght, speed, and skill.

  19. Lets hope he stays healthy. EPL is fast and technical BUT it’s not as physical as some leagues and even the MLS. In addition, by the time he is fit to play, the worst weather in England will mostly be behind him. Training and playing in the cold weather of England can cause some players to suffer more muscle and joint injuries than those in warmer climes.

    I see this coming as a great time for Shea to compete for one of the winger spots for WCQ and hopefully WC2014. Before this move, he might have been considered a fringe or peripheral player for the USMNT, but one with great promise. Getting and making the best out of this opportunity will put him front and center.

    I wish him well!!

    • I’d have to disagree. The EPL is a very physical league, with a very fast pace, and many injuries. It’s much more physical then MLS. The players are often faster, bigger, and stronger, with refined technical abilities.

      • G, Bean, right on, Randy that is not correct. epl is more competitve than that. you must be talking about la liga, that is whay i prefer epl over la liga, epl top to bottom is MORE competitive that is why its the most popular league.

      • Spanish clubs in Europe might disagree, Prem is def not what it used to be…Athletico Madrids thrashing of Chelsea and Athletic Blilbao’s thrashing of Man U last year proves that

  20. Sounds like a good time to go. Dallas is a toxic environment for dissidents, and Shea has always had the tools to make a Premier League move work. Not a bad time in his life to spend a year trying to break through in a top league.

  21. I like Stoke because of Geoff Cameron, and never miss a match, but this is really good news if Shea can make something of it. He’s been given a chance to play in one of the three top leagues, against some of the best in the world. Time to make something happen.

      • So true! Good comment. Good locker room banter when they meet in a month. That is one of the few things I’m not crazy about with the unbalanced schedule is that the FCD/HOU El Captain battle is only once a season now with the opposite conferences. It makes that match up more intriguing with the once a year clash but wish it was more.

  22. Too soon. I am not sanguine about the prospects for success here, certainly not in the short to medium term at the very least…

  23. I hope he can make a immediate impact with Stoke City if it is coming off the bench as a super-sup and starting a few games or starting; I am fine with both. Realistically I think it will be between Cameron and Edu.

    • realistically, there is no other outcome but to be “between Cameron and Edu,” as they represent the polar opposites- one wasn’t playing or even in the squad, the other a full-time starter…

      if he’s not playing in most games and maybe starting a few by the end of the year, it’ll be a failed move- he’s almost 23- too old for sitting on the bench for a couple seasons

  24. Interesting stuff. FCD’s comment on their website could’ve been a tweet, though. At least they said he wasn’t going to be in training instead of leaving us all to speculate

    • My biggest question remains:

      “Stoke was initially hesitant to make a deal without seeing Shea train”

      How many other purchases in the transfer window by European clubs require the player to “train with the team” before purchasing.

      Is this purely based on his health status? I’d be pretty pissed off the trial/training is based on his ability, and not health.

    • Therein lies a contradiction where I wonder about some fans……I only think a transfer is “sweet” going in if we can answer the “will he play” question beforehand.

      • This.

        What good is a transfer to the EPL if an American just rides pine? Let’s hope he plays a lot and develops into the player we hope he can be.

      • Agreed I.V., and… I think we can answer that about as surely as we could with any previous American signings in BPL. Stoke seems to have been pretty assertive in pursuit and although they didn’t pay a fortune, if rumors are correct, they seem to have been willing to make a respectable investment for a club this size bringing in an MLSer. Brek’s talents look to meet a need at Stoke and I think it is a pretty sure bet he will have plenty of opportunity to prove himself and play. The big question mark in this scenario is the same as it has been with Shea all along. Does he have the fortitude and mettle to REALLY go after it with everything he’s got. New country, new league, stiffer competition than he’s ever had will either raise him to levels he’s never been at….. or “Break Shea”.

        Personally, I think it’s the right move at the right time for this player. No more living off rep and being a big fish in a small pond… put up or shut up. I truly hope he meets the challenge.

      • We visited with Brek Friday night after practice where he showed very well and seemed quite fit,. He also seemed to have a level of excitement like he knew something we didn’t. like maybe that he is going to London Monday. I do know this, Brek has the ability to get what he really wants, or he wouldn’t be this far. I think that given the chance to go for something that he really wants, once on the field you are going to see the likes of a thorough bred race horse fresh out of the gate.

      • Well, he is injured and I’m not certain of their depth chart on the wings, so it is a valid question.

        And yes, a transfer is only “sweet” if there is playing time and in many cases, that can’t be known due to a variety of factors.

        So i guess i wonder about you Imperative Voice….

  25. Yeah I think it’ll good fit. They’ll teach him how to cross, and his size will make him likely to get game time if he plays well with Stoke’s style. Thoughts on whether he’ll play LB or LW?

    • almost guaranteed LW/LM. Stoke are much too defensive minded to try and convert an attacker into a defender. If he had gone somewhere like Wigan, where they try and play a possession attacking style, perhaps he would’ve been tried out at LB/LWB. Just look at Geoff Cameron as the type of fullback Stoke prefer.

      • Uh, I’ll take it. Seeing as we are a developing soccer nation I’m not going to spend my life comparing our players to the World’s elite. Dempsey’s a poor man’s Xavi. Altidore’s a poor man’s Ronaldo. I’ll take it, as will most teams in the world.

      • Well said Lorenzo.

        I’d liken Clint to a poor man’s Berbatov moreso than a Xavi.

        Your point still stands though.

      • I was thinking that Dempsey is more a poor man’s Klose or Inaghi

        and that Stuart is more a poor man’s Xavi

        I would say that Jozy is more a poor man’s Anelka

        By the way if a poor man had all these players he would not be poor very long at all

    • IMO Shea’s problem has not been pure crossing, but consistency and work rate (and fitness). He reminds me of Old Dempsey, who used to dance on the ball a lot and show lots of talent but not accomplish much. When New Dempsey picked up the work rate and became more of a team player he became elite talent. Pulis seems to be a team oriented, 90 minutes of hustle type coach (a la Houston Dynamo, whom Stoke reminds me of) so we’ll see if that rubs off.


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