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Stoke City make bid for Shea (UPDATED-Stoke confirms bid and Shea trial)


The January transfer window has been a quiet one for Americans, but a major move for a top young American player is in the works.

English Premier League side Stoke City has made a $3 million offer for FC Dallas and U.S. National Team midfielder Brek Shea, sources confirmed to SBI this week. The bid, first report via Twitter by ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman, could make Shea the third American on the books at Stoke City, along with Geoff Cameron and Maurice Edu, who was recently sent on loan to Turkish side Bursaspor.

Twellman reported that a transfer agreement has been agreed to between Stoke and FC Dallas for an approximate fee of $3.5 million. Sources have told SBI that as of late Friday no agreement had been reached on a Shea move, and even the offer submitted by Stoke was contingent on Shea returning to training and proving that he’s healthy and recovered from off-season foot surgery.

UPDATE– Stoke City manager Tony Pulis confirmed on Saturday that Shea would be joining Stoke for a week-long training stint to test out his physical fitness ahead of a potential transfer. There are even suggestions Shea could feature on a closed-door scrimmage set up by Stoke to test him out.

Though no deal appears done yet, the relationship between Shea and FC Dallas doesn’t appear to be the healthiest one according to sources familiar with the situation. Dallas could be ready to unload Shea, but aren’t likely to just jump on the first offer made.

What do you think of this development? See Shea doing well at Stoke City? What do you think would be a fair transfer price for him?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. i honestly feel like Brek is like that really smart kid in school who acts up in class because he’s bored. With all due respect to MLS I think he wants the next challenge. I think he’s ready for the next step. Same with Juan agudelo who by all accounts probably had a more garbage season than Brek last year, but had Celtic fawning over him,ya know?

  2. Trial?

    I assume this is just for a fitness test? Otherwise, this is annoying. “Trial” to buy a player? Must be American.

  3. Also, UK press and some local/nationall websites have announced the Frank Lampard has come to terms with the LA Galaxy. In a press conference last Thursday, Arena confirmed they would have a resolution on their vacant DP this week, and didn’t directly deny the reports.

    Any direct confirmations from authoritative sources?

  4. Sink or Swim time for Shea. Stays healthy and plays his game well and he can find himself on the bench or some playing time in the EPL (always an accomplishment) Goes down with injuries. or the EPL gets to his head, then it’s a few years in the lower divisions of the FA.

    If you get picked up by a big team and don’t make it, it usually works out you can get a lateral transfer to a smaller EPL club or a top level club in another euro country. Strike out on a team struggling to stay in the EPL and you’ll find yourself in the Championship or worse…just sayin.

  5. I hope he smoothes out for the sake of the nats, but he’s not that far removed from stomping off the field and getting into it with his coach, and also drilling a linesman with a ball. The bridge is burned in Dallas, but he clearly still has maturity issues and a direct move to the EPL would be an incredible amount of pressure for someone who doesn’t have his head together yet. It will be sink or swim..maybe it will provide the discipline he needs.

  6. Could be a great move for him. Stoke are guaranteed to be in the PL next season and there first choice player at Shea’s position Etherington is pretty underwhelming.

  7. MLS needs the money. Id rather MLS sell Shea now helping to improve to the USMNT while pocketing that money to help increase the cap/ improve youth developement

  8. At some point Americans have to support MLS. When are we going to love MLS, much like we do with the NBA or NFL? The American product deserves our support and the motivation of keeping our top talent should not wavier. This doesn’t mean we want feed players to other leagues for the right money, but we should love our own league and should it bring emotions of disappointment to see one of our own leave the league. MLS is Americas premier league.

    • MLS will gain a lot more support and popularity through a strong national team than through keeping all US players at home. People won’t pay attention to any strong MLS team if the national team is horrible.

    • as a developing soccer nation we benefit from selling our players. The transfer fees received go back into development which means more and better American players over time.

      Hanging on to players who want to go to the better leagues is not going to help grow the sport in the US nor will it raise the standard of MLS. It would actually hurt the standard of MLS. For one, American players who have their eye on Europe will start to avoid MLS. And like I mentioned already, there would be an opportunity cost to not receiving value back for sold players.The good news is MLS realizes this and is open to selling players.

      We need to follow the Brazil model and create our own football factory. Sell players, put $$ into development, and repeat the cycle. Then in 15 years or so (maybe sooner) we will have enough American players to have a very solid domestic league.

    • I don’t buy the belief that top players leaving the league hurts quality. Every player that goes to Europe and does well increases the value of MLS, making it more likely that quality players are going to come the other way.

      I think the #1 thing the league could do to grow (which would cost them NOTHING) is to start releasing terms of contracts, deals and allocation dollars. Allocation money is the coin of the realm and every time a player is traded for an undisclosed fee we have to accept it and move on. This needs is fodder for sports radio, message boards and whatnot. “Player X isn’t worth that much, they overpaid.” “No, they didn’t!”.

      People are interested in stories. Stories require conflict. Making the cost of players and trades hidden removes the conflict.

  9. I just hope that if he doesn’t right away fit into Stoke’s plans that they at least loan him to a championship team or something, don’t want Brek to be in the situation like edu was getting no play time, NT will need him this year with the amount of games we will play

  10. I think its a great move for brek, he obviously needs a new challenge and change of scenery and his game should fit well into stokes game plan. I would expect too much this year, mostly off the bench but next year he could be valuable part of their attack (very similar to his status with the usnt). If mls/dallas bring in £3m ($4.7m) like sky is reporting that should be pretty good for them as well.

  11. Their current LM Etherington is getting older and hasn’t looked good at all recently, they think Shea would be a good replacement in time.

    • Exactly. Stoke has struggled to score more often than not of late, and a speedy young player like Shea will get his chances to show what he can do.

  12. Go.Tony Pullis will look after you.
    Best Chairman Peter Coates.
    You will Get noticed .
    If you Are good you will play.
    Great place to live in Neighbouring Cheshire.
    Grass is Greener over there.

    An offer you cant refuse.Welcome to the big league.

  13. I think $3 million is more than what Shea is worth — I don’t see this kid having an amazing career. Dallas should take the money and run.

    • I think most are saying its 3M POUNDS, not dollars. Shea is always a high value commodity for his intriguing mix of size, speed, and skills.

  14. Shea is big, fast, and direct. Stoke seems to fit him well. I don’t understand why people don’t think this is a good move.

  15. Well, he certainly fits into their Land of the Giants philosophy of footie, though he’s not quite as strong in the air as his size would indicate. Perhaps Stoke can work on his technique. It’s a fantastic move if he can adapt and get playing time, but I worry because Stoke is such a disciplined side and Brek is such an undisciplined free spirit. Brek would really have to straighten up his act.

  16. I love it when people jump on the stoke don’t play football band wagon. People who haven’t got a clue about the talent at stoke and the foundations which they are trying to build on. They started life in the premier league with a rugged direct style of play, they are slowly building there strengths and introducing more ‘watchable’ football. For a period they played with 2 very good wingers in Matt etherington and jermaine pennant. Since the summer they have gone to a more 4-5-1 formation simply to allow the use of all the big name players that have come in to the squad, Charlie Adam, Steven n zonzi, peter crouch, etc etc. they choose their games to drop back to the formation using the wingers and aim, first and foremost not to concede a goal, after all if u don’t concede you don’t lose. They do play some food football and have some quality players at the club. Do you morons think that the likes of Peter crouch and Michael Owen would be at the club if they only played long balls and defensive football. I think it’s time you all gave stoke a break and give them credit for what they have achieved in their time in the premier league.

  17. He needs to pushed and Stoke would be better for that. I wonder though with the change in labor laws if he can get a work permit. No 75% of caps.

  18. eh, this is a real sink or swim moment for him. I don’t think he’s ready for the EPL every week, he doesn’t have that sense of when to take on a defender and when to hold up play or pass. It’s hard to say whether the manager will keep him around because he can counter and stretch defenses and has a WOW moment every game, or make him a late game sub because he gives the ball away too much and is a defensive liability.

    I like that he is giving himself a tough but reasonable challenge and wish him the best. From a Nats perspective this is much needed if he wants to be Donovan’s replacement.

  19. Sky sports is claiming the deal is done. As long as he plays as a winger/AM or second striker I like the move. If he gets moved to LB then it hampers what Shea is good at.

      • That sounds a lot more reasonable than $3M given Shea’s track record, MLS’s interest in keeping him, his contract situation, and interest from other European clubs.

      • 3 million pounds > 5 milion USD. That is good business. Stoo complaining guys; you probably sell yourself for less than that working for the man. 😀

    • He’s NOT going to play LB for Stoke. I’m surprised to see several people have expressed this. Stoke requires lock down, disciplined, CB style fullbacks, that’s why they moved Cameron from CB to RB. Shea is an attack minded winger/forward. If he were to play LB, it would be in a system that played wing backs, not fullbacks. Have no fear.

  20. I hope its true and works out but if you really look at it… it’s kind of a roll of the dice. For every Dempsey, Brian McBride and Howard… there’s an Edu, Robbie Rodgers, Eddie Lewis, and Bobby Convey.

    In Shea’s case, I think he’ll fall into the second group. His stock was going up for a while then poof… he seems to be sinking. It’s a risk.but at least he’ll make some money out of the deal

    • That’s the way of the world, no? The closest comparison is baseball. Last year (2012) 1638 players were drafted. And it’s roughly that number every year. And yet, there are only 1200 roster spots in the majors. For every Mike Piazza (62 round! Two thousand people picked above him!) there are 1400 players who will never see the field of a MLB stadium. Same in the British soccer, there are thousands of people signed every year, only a small fraction will ever see Wembley.

  21. Stoke has a good defense with no ability to attack. Brek has the potential to offer them the ability to spread the field and apply pressure, or at least the threat of pressure, if only on the counter. This alone helps out the defense. If it leads to goals, all the better. He definitely is not in a good place right now. He and FCD both need a change IMO.

    • Good comment. Defensive teams need a counter threat, to help keep the other sides honest and also to actually score every once in a while. Whether Shea is the guy to do that for Stoke remains to be seen. I’ve never been as impressed with him as some. I haven’t seen him a lot, and I have seen his varying big moments on the USMNT, but still am not sure those mean much.

      The other thought I’ve got is whether this is a mistake in terms of playing time. Is it really so clear Shea would get regular minutes at Stoke? I like the Gatt path better – begin with a lower team, start and impress, move up to a slightly less lower team, start and impress…

      • I think Gatt is 21, but not sure what you’re saying. Shea has to rush the jumps because he’s already old? Besides, Shea isn’t chasing Gatt. Shea just has to chase Shea’s own potential and make the moves that are best for him. I think he might be over-reaching with the EPL. If this deal works out, we’ll see. But I can see him squandering time on the Stoke bench until he’s 23 or 24, and then getting loaned out to a lower team… Time lost.

        I certainly could be wrong, but he wasn’t ever an established starter with the USMNT, and wasn’t even getting regular time with Dallas.

      • Good point, it could work like that. But that’s assuming he is immediately loaned out. If he languishes, like Edu, and then a year down the road is loaned, that’s a wasted year.

  22. Dude MLS players are uber cheap. Even Taiwanese league players cost more.

    btw Holland should be the go to place in Europe for Young Yanks

    • It seems like most of the MLSers going over are doing pretty well. I think players are automatically assumed to be of lesser quality because they play in MLS.

      It’s like being in MLS is two strikes against you and if you’ve got anything else that’s not prototypical then you’re not jumping from MLS to EPL… at least that’s the best explanation I have for why we still have Ozzie.

  23. They cross from the left…
    They cross from the right…
    …something about Americans make your team look shite…?

    Eh…needs work. I’m sure the Stoke fans could come up with something.

  24. although i have a hard time watching stoke because of their style of play, i think brek might fit in well there. he’s tall, can win balls, and plays well on the break. hell, he might make them watchable.

  25. I think this is a great spot for Shea, because Stoke plays so defensively. He’ll have to help out on defense, and then he’ll get a running start at the opposition’s fullbacks. He’s never done well when pushed high up the pitch, he needs space and time to get moving, that’s when he’s most effective.

    I think Shea at LM would be perfect, and hopefully Cameron can get moved from RB to LCB, so he and Shea can somewhat combine out of the back.

  26. I’m surprised people are saying that Stoke City isn’t a good move for Shea. C’mon, it’s the EPL and Shea was having enough problems at Dallas. I hope he’s healthy enough to make the jump. He’s a really fun player to watch and I’d love to see him get minutes in the big leagues (and get fit for the USMNT.)

      • Let’s get real… we all love MLS, but it’s definitely not the “big leagues,” for another couple of decades, at least.

      • It is the big leagues, if MLS is not the big leagues then Liga MX,is not the big leagues. Noneof you make sense, just beacause MLS is not the EPL, doesn’t make it not the big leagues.

      • I agree with T-lover. It isn’t the EPL but it most definitely is the top league in the USA and a top 12 league so it is a big league in a top country.

      • Until MLS pays it’s players better, not just the best 4-6 players on each team, it is minor league. It also doesn’t put emphasis on winning the league, instead it’s on the playoff system. I think until that gets fixed it will be hard to convince soccer fans, but not MLS fans, that it’s worth their time. Actually scratch that, get more than just 1 game a week on tv, that’s probably the first step. I would watch games if I could see them on. Right now MLS seems to be surviving best at the local level, which is great if you’re lucky enough to live in a city with a team, but sucks for the rest of us. I can watch every EPL game of a team I follow without much trouble. That’s a huge difference. You become a fan to support a team, not really a league.

      • Pay doesn’t mean a leagues is minor league, or a big league. I know many people label pay with quality. However many people forget, Pele wasn’t making what these players are making today. Babe Ruth salary, would look nothing like a players salary today. Pay doesn’t mean, player is quality. Also this idea of MLS, has to be exactly like Europe is stupid. The NFL has a playoff system, is it a minor league to? or is it okay because they get paid millions of dollars? Nothing you said make sense. You have leagues in south America, that have a playoff system. When Brazil Serie A did away with its’ playoff system, the fans were very upset. It is the reason,Brazil Serie fan support, drops each year. Also European clubs don’t win the league, they get a Russian Billionaire, or an oil tycoon to buy it for them. The same clubs win their league each year, it’s not really a competitive structure. MLS structure, an American structure, is much more competitive. The playoffs is an extension of the season,for the elite clubs of MLS. Clubs with the best records get home field advantage.I was first a soccer fan,that watched European soccer first,but its boring it’s not enjoyable to watch, when you know most of the results before the game. MLS, will continue to grow, and outgrow the European soccer fan base. That is because while European clubs continue to get into debt, and the quality distance grows even more between, the small clubs, and big clubs. MLS will offer the soccer fan, close playoffs battles, and the ability for each fan to have faith their club can win a trophy. Also your information is also wrong,you have games on NBC, Local TV network, ESPN,and even on Spanish channels. You become a fan,because of the league your favorite team, which you have no connection to,plays in. It’s funny I don’t see to many AC BARCA fans,a Finland club.

      • Until MLS pays it’s players better, not just the best 4-6 players on each team, it is minor league. It also doesn’t put emphasis on winning the league, instead it’s on the playoff system. I think until that gets fixed it will be hard to convince soccer fans, but not MLS fans, that it’s worth their time. Actually scratch that, get more than just 1 game a week on tv, that’s probably the first step. I would watch games if I could see them on. Right now MLS seems to be surviving best at the local level, which is great if you’re lucky enough to live in a city with a team, but sucks for the rest of us. I can watch every EPL game of a team I follow without much trouble. That’s a huge difference. You become a fan to support a team, not really a league.

      • well i agree

        i don’t live in an MLS city and thus I don’t watch MLS. I actually didn’t watch a single game last season.

        I do support my local USL club though (i’m a season ticket holder)

        i’d watch MLS if they adapted a pro/rel system for the simple reason my club would have a chance to get promoted. Until that happens I’m just meh about MLS.

      • Will paying Jeff Larentowicz more turn him into a better player? I think you have it backwards. As we add another 100 mil people of largely Hispanic descent, and the US soccer market matures, we’ll be in better shape to have higher revenue and pay the players a more competitive wage.

        “first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

      • they shouldn’t be paid more. They should be paid their market value. MLS is the only league in the world (maybe A League as well) where there is not free agency.

        Without free agency players do not get their market value.

      • what do you mean by big leagues?

        I don’t think any serious person that understands the global game would say MLS is one of the big leagues.

        The so called “big leagues” are: EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, and maybe Ligue 1

      • So wait,the dutch league isn’t the big leagues? What about the Brazilian league? You guys watch way to much European soccer. I watch global soccer. Every Professional league, is the big leagues. The only difference is the quality of each league. You clearly need to learn the definition of what a big league is.

      • that’s why i asked what you meant by big leagues.

        that kind of terminology isn’t used in global soccer. There are no minor leagues in global soccer. It’s not the same as baseball.

        i thought you meant one of the big leagues, meaning one of the top leagues.

        what exactly is your argument? that MLS is a top league?

      • Now if you said he should make the jump to a better league, then I would understand. Or if you said, he should make the jump to one of the top leagues in the world, then I would understand. However when you use the term,:Big League”, you clearly lack the understanding of the word. Big league means,”A group of teams in a professional sport,competing for a championship at the highest level.” Each country domestic league, is the big leagues, because it is the highest level of that country. You can say, one of the top big leagues, in the world.

      • your picking a fight over semantics. He clearly put “big leagues” in quotes meaning he was referring to the idea of being a big (top) league.

      • So Iceland’s top domestic league is “a big league”? Sure, it’s “big-ger” than a smaller league but that doesn’t make it a big league in the global footballing community which you are so proudly a part of…I understand you feel that the MLS Is a “big league” but when I can name 5 leagues that are more popular to fans and players I wouldn’t classify it as such. Nor would it be fair to those leagues to put MLS in the same group

      • Hal you still make no sense, because I already explained that MLS is the big leagues. The EPL is a top league, however every league is the big leagues. Big leagues, just doesn’t refer to baseball. Also putting the word in quotations, still doesn’t correct the fact the word shouldn’t have been use. How do we know the Brazilian league, wouldn’t do great in the UCL league? you don’t. Even when we use the word “top league”, we have no way of knowing the top leagues.

      • we have a good idea which leagues are the top leagues. They are the leagues with the most quality(and the highest paid players)

    • going to the EPL would be a good move, going to Stokes not so much, they are not a team that I would think he is going to learn as much. I think Stoke just like tall futbol players.

  27. Shea needs a change, but I’m not sure Stoke is the best destination. Although, their long-ball, athletic style seems to fit MLS players.

  28. It is time for Shea to make big time career decisions and either sink or swim. He is at an age where he needs the opportunity to show his talents. I wish him luck and hope he succeeds.

  29. Having MLS lose top young talent is not going to help TV ratings that’s for sure. How many people besides FCD fans would tune in to a game if he leaves? I mean they have other talent but Shea is by far the most interesting. For MLS to become a top league they have to hold on to players just like him.

    • I definitely see your point snob and i think its a valid one. On the flip side if more top young talent goes over to Europe and excels more fans who concentrate on European leagues may start tuning into mls.

      • Maybe, but I have my doubts about that. Focus on England and Europe tends to lead to the euro snobbery that MLSsnob’s name seems directed toward.

        The thing to remember is we have so many more players over there than before because we have a league over here for them to prove their professional mettle. Take away MLS (and if not supported, it will go away), and we’ll be sending less players over there.

        Someone like Bradley – sure, he had the connections to pull it off. But how about someone like Dempsey? If he came out of Furman without a domestic league, would he have flown to Europe on his own dime and try to wrangle a few try-outs? Would anyone there have given him the time of day? It seems pretty clear European clubs have no interest in scouting our college teams.

        Remember about 20 years ago the most likely path to Europe was to come out of college, somehow make the USMNT and then impress at World Cups like a Reyna or Lalas. So it is important we support MLS and help it grow.

        According to Klinsmann, the league is becoming more heavily scouted by European clubs. Maybe we are growing toward MLS being more of a destination than a collection of feeder clubs to the ‘big time.’ Certainly not there yet, but keeping some of our young talent around would make that growth more likely.

      • I think where talent ends up is a function of where the wages exist. FIFA’s Best XI of 2012 came from three teams in the same league, and only because they couldn’t deny Falcao, else it would’ve been two teams.

        If MLS ever gets rid of the salary cap and owners start splashing the cash, you can be damned assured MLS will be a destination. There are a whole lot of agents screaming “Show me the money!!!!!!”

        You don’t think Beckham came over here “for the challenge”, do you?

      • MLS was airing a game of the week in England as of the mid 90s. Mind you, it was on in the wee hours of the night on a cycle with Brazil and other leagues. I’d actually assume we’re showing there still in some form and that it would be a question of viewership as opposed to being on at all.

        With the quality of their league as well as what else is on the menu (Spain, Italy) I’d assume for the time being it’s a niche thing at best. Like, FSC runs Aussie games.

      • I wasn’t clear with my comment. I meant the American fans of the game who pay more attention to European leagues than MLS. If young talent from MLS continues to go overseas and do well we may be able to convince some of those fans to tune into MLS. Of course that requires that the MLS continues to produce young exciting talent and that those guys do well in Europe.

        Like I said, I can see the point MLSsnob was making about keepin that talent here to improve the product and marketability. I just think with the economics of the whole system that it will be tough to keep that talent in MLS.

    • The idea that MLS can or should hold onto its top young talent is nice but it’s not going to happen. Every league in the world is a feeder league. No one dreams of playing for Stoke or Aston Villa. They dream of playing for Man U or Real or Barcelona. There are only a handful of teams that aren’t feeders. They only sell the players that can’t make it or are disposable.
      MLS should build a business model on attracting young American talent and giving them a showcase for the bigger European teams. Shea’s move would show kids that Europe via MLS is a good option.
      MLS revenues will not be able to compete with BPL or larger clubs in Europe for a long time. It’s all about TV revenue and Champions Leage revenue. (which is TV revenue.)

      • The argument has traditionally been the opposite, that our long term deals with or without options, plus our taking a significant percent of the fee, complicate MLS transfers. I think it’s the relative cheapness of our players as well as the fact that we produce some NT people with work permit potential, that drives the transfer interest. The catch 22 evident with, say, Cameron is that teams like Stoke who could use our players may not be willing to pay what we see as their market value.

        FWIW, how many of our players are really “feeding” upwards? It’s a limited set, Friedel, Dempsey, and Bradley. The Germans were already at a high level. I’m not sure I see Denmark or the rest of Scandinavia, the English Championship, Turkey, etc. as much of a step “up” in other than a paycheck sense. If Hainault goes to Ross County, is that “up” because it’s SPL, sideways, or perhaps even down? Maybe his paycheck goes up but for all I know the level of play drops. Lot of the players going to Europe land at that kind of team.

        And then you have to factor in the players we “feed” who get spat back out (EJ, Rico….), some players who have done well staying put, etc.

        I don’t doubt there’s a pecking order, but our teams are good enough, and the interest of the real elite limited enough, that I don’t know if we’re “feeding” much of anything upwards.

      • Shea’s move would show that?

        You mean more so than similar jumps by Dempsey, Boca, Howard, Bradley, Cameron, etc., etc.?

      • I don’t think we’ll ever be a true feeder league. The real feeder leagues are second division or worse leagues where the league will always be second best and you HAVE to move up to get first division NT respect and money in that country. If you’re at Leicester and want to play for England and get EPL money, the only way is up. It’s kind of like being in the minors here. Wanna play for a decent paycheck and on the US? Gotta get to MLS first. That’s “feeder” to me.

        People act like the EPL is way above us but Everton couldn’t actually pay what Landon was worth in a fee after he made a splash there. Bottom table EPL squads are probably not as good as MLS elite sides except they probably pay better. The sweet spot in terms of transfer fee affordability of US players is probably roughly at MLS-level teams or slightly above.

      • “Bottom table EPL squads are probably not as good as MLS elite sides except they probably pay better.”

        I wrote on article on this, in which I compared the rosters of LA (MLS Cup) and SJ (Supporters Shield) to Sunderland and Wigan (the two teams straddling the relegation line at the time). Basically the analysis pointed to Sunderland looking better on paper than the other three, but LA and SJ potentially looking better on paper than Wigan.

        My conclusion was maybe the MLS teams (especially LA) could also avoid relegation (like Wigan’s magic act last year), but it would be close.

      • The top three, four or even more in the EPL – obviously we’re talking about strong teams, who could compete for top spots anywhere in the world. But, I’ve had a suspicion for a while that the quality in that league drops off faster than conventional wisdom might hold.

      • Well it seems your definition of “feeder” does not correlate with most everyone else’s in regard to how professional soccer leagues work in relation to one another. Typical feeder leagues include, for example, the Belgian, Austrian, Swiss, Scandinavian, and even Dutch league. Top young players move on to stronger leagues. Like Ross said above, this is just how things work in the majority of leagues.

        In the USA we’re used to being top dogs all the time, but it’s just not that way with soccer, and it will be awhile until we approach that. But until that point, being among the feeder leagues it a good way to build a strong league–both financially and in terms of attracting better and better young talent who see an opportunity to possibly more to the EPL in a few years. And I think we’re seeing better young talent come in (from Honduras, Colombia, etc.), and I think that’s a good direction for the league to take. Nothing wrong with being a feeder league.

      • Everton didn’t want to pay the transfer fee for Donovan because MLS was over-valuing him. What was the asking price? 10 mil?

        You’re crazy if they think that any MLS club could survive in the EPL. Not one of them could.

        MLS’s ALL-Star team wouldn’t even survive in the EPL.

      • Also, considering Donovan’s impact while he played for Everton, the marketing revenue he would have also brought in?

        10 million for all parties was fairly accurate.

      • Yeah, but why talk about all star teams? Look through the rosters of some of the EPL teams threatened with relegation. There isn’t much special there at all.

        I mean, I’m not saying they are joke teams. And Sunderland’s defense is fairly impressive (plus I do like both Sunderland’s and Wigan’s keepers), but these aren’t line-ups that would have MLS teams shaking in their boots.

        Just not the kind of quality people tend to think or assume, because they get starry eyed over that ‘EPL’ label.

      • Ok, Hal, from that player pool:



        This team, which definitely isn’t the team I’d pick out of all MLS, is better than the bottom 5 teams in the Premier League. If you disagree with that, then we can agree to disagree.

      • Friendlies and exhibitions between MLS and EPL teams are mostly misleading.

        The only way you can reasonably compare MLS teams to EPL teams is to have them meet when both teams are in mid season form , home and away, with money on the line.
        This is what happens in the UEFA Champions League but nowhere else as far as I can tell.

        The only other way is to put them in the same league.

        If it was the EPL, LA, Houston and the MLS Star selection, assuming they maintained their status quo, would have a hard time avoiding relegation.

        Obviously, top MLS talent can unquestionably play well in the EPL but it not necessarily just about the talent level of the players.

        The main reasons are competition in the league and on the roster and depth of player perssonel .

        MLS teams are notorious for taking a while to get going. With relegation and the hyper competitive atmosphere , you can’t afford that in the EPL.

        The first eleven or even the first fourteen of LA or Houston obviously can compete in the EPL but MLS rosters are typically smaller than EPL rosters ( or even the top teams in the Championship) and gap in talent between the starters and the bench guys seems much more pronounced in MLS.

        The MLS sides would likely wear down over the course of the season.

      • you’re overvaluing the “EPL” label. I’m not saying these guys would start for Manchester City, or even Everton, but the bottom teams like Wigan or Reading would love to have anybody on this team. Below the top 6/7 teams in the England, the next 25 or so are all reasonably similar and not out of the league of MLS talent.

      • David JS,

        You are not reading what I wrote. I wrote that there are plenty of MLS players who could do well in the EPL.

        But that does not mean that LA and Houston as constituted could avoid relegation. Read my post.

      • Kennedy is not an EPL quality keeper. Wouldn’t even make a Championship side club. You need a quality keeper to avoid relegation.

        Demerit was done in the EPL when he came to MLS. He wasn’t offered a contract by any EPL team and that was 3 years ago.

        DeRo has never been offered a contract by any EPL team. He’s 34 years old. If he was good enough he would have gone to Europe already.

        Pearce flamed out in Germany a few years ago with a club that is now German 3rd division. He’s not EPL quality. Probably not even Championship quality.

        Beitashour is EPL quality? Don’t know much about him

        That leaves Donovan, Henry , Beckham, Alonso and Zusi

        Beckham and Henry no longer starters in the EPL. Could Henry start with QPR? Maybe.

        I think Zusi is EPL quality. Alonso, not even close.

    • The path to becoming a top league starts with being a seller. You sell players, put the money into development and repeat. Eventually there will be a strong enough American player base for MLS to become a top league.

      But for now it requires MLS to sell its players. Not only that, they want to go. For MLS to hold on to players that want to go it would hurt them in getting American players to start their careers in MLS.

    • Good point snobby face, I hate seeing MLS talent leave, and EPL keeps getting more of my viewing time the more American’s keep crossing over the pond.

  30. I like a move to EPL for Shea, but am not sure Stoke is a great destination for him as he is an attacking winger and Stoke plays very defensively. I liked that potential move last year to Schalke better.

  31. Hard to see Brek getting much time on the pitch for Stoke for the remainder of this season. He will have to do well in the coming season if he wants a solid chance of going to Brazil with the Nats. Tricky move, this one. Hope the best for him. I think that things may not be good between Brek and Schellas so I can see why they would like to sell his contract.

    • Depends on how fit he has gotten since the surgery and what state of mind he is in. I definitely worry that it might not work out, given last season – but I hope it does.

    • Stoke’s offense has been anemic this season. You’d think if they’re willing to buy him, they’d be willing to give him some PT and see if he can produce.


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