Top Stories

Report: Shea could be sent on loan to Championship club

Brek Shea Stoke City (Getty Images)


With the World Cup just eight months away, Brek Shea is looking for a better situation to find some playing time.

Since joining Stoke City last January, Shea hasn’t found a regular place in the starting lineup due to a number of injuries over the course of the last ten months as well as international call-ups. After returning from the Gold Cup to Stoke this August under new manager Mark Hughes, Shea has only played once in a league cup match.

As such, a report in English newspaper the Telegraph says that Stoke is considering loaning out Shea to a club in the Championship, with both Hughes and U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann hoping that Shea can find regular first-team opportunities.

The report states that Klinsmann has communicated to Shea and likely the rest of the squad that if they want to be in the USMNT World Cup squad they need to be playing. Stoke have yet to officially commented on the report.

In all, the 23-year-old winger has played just three times total for Stoke since he was signed for a reported £2.5 million ($4 million), including two late-season Premier League appearances last year. Shea played in all six games for the USMNT during this summer’s Gold Cup, coming off the bench to score two game-winning-goals in wins over Costa Rica in the group stage and Panama in the final.


What do you think of this news? Do you believe Shea moving to the Championship on loan is a good idea? Do you see other players doing this as well if they don’t have regular playing time? Do you feel Shea should stay and fight his way into a starting spot?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Some haters in here.
    It’s like some folks want a pat on the back for claiming “He’ll never make it in England!!”
    Constructive critism is fine but the whole “I told you so” mentality is childish!

  2. I think its a good idea considering everything that is coming up but the spots left in the squad I would say are more for defenders but still Shea is good and if he proves that and gets a lot of playing time I mean who knows what might happen right? I mean Holden made the 2010 World Cup even coming out of an injury so fast so its really all up to the final months before

  3. Some of the reports have made it sound like it’s really been Shea pushing for this move. My guess is perhaps Klinsmann is telling him to just get minutes somewhere so he can bring him in.

  4. My big worry about him going to Stoke was his previous problems in training as was documented under Hyndman. I was hoping that he, knowing that he had to work his way onto the team, would reform his habits but now I worry that he, like Adu, will be able to show special flashes at times on the pitch but never train hard enough to earn his spot with a good side.

    • I still don’t understand why a national team coach is flying in a specialist to get a player the surgury he needs and not his club. I honestly don’t know if i’ve ever heard of that before and makes me question whats going on at Dallas.

  5. It seems there are plenty of experts about Shea as a player on this thread.

    Here’s to hoping Shea rounds back into form. He could be a very valuable sub weapon for the states during the WC.

  6. Shea sucks. He had one good yr at Dallas and that it’s. Maybe he’ll grow into something, but if he doesn’t cut it in the championship then we’ll know

  7. On bringing in Brek Shea as a substitute:

    “That element with Brek coming in and taking people on and having this surprising element in his game, every opponent would fear that. As a coach you always think that if you do something now WHAT WOULD AN OPPONENT FEAR ON YOUR END. You see a guy like Brek, unpredictable for himself and for the opponent. It is a card that you want to play.” – JURGEN KLINSMANN – July 28, 2013

    • Klinsmann has always really liked Shea and if he is playing regularly in the Championship I think he makes it on the World Cup roster.

      • agreed. shea brings something that not too many other players can.

        i think jurgen will bring 4 outside midfielders; donovan, bedoya and zusi are booked. one spot left for some like shea or davis or someone else like dempsey, ej or fabian that will open up a spot in another location..

  8. I compare Shea to Dempsey while at NE. Lot of amusing dancing on the wings but not a 90 minute lunchpail guy or someone who could be relied upon to finish his chances. Dempsey’s improved fitness, work rate, and finishing are what turned the corner for him.

    Youth players can get away with being interesting one trick ponies. But I think you stick as a senior player based on either having inherent advantages like size or speed, or developing some sort of technique like scoring, crossing, defending, dribbling, keeping to an unusual standard. And you have to be willing to play hard at the senior level for 90, at a good level of play. You can’t have a Gold Cup-type half where you can’t even seem to kick or dribble right. He needs to shore up his technique but more importantly he needs to train until he is a standout at some position or skill that we can use.

    The counterpoint I always use is Freddy Adu. He may dribble around kids and be productive at that level, but at the senior level he is slower than his opponents, low work rate, occasionally interesting but often sloppy. He’s not tall, not fast, not strong. Doesn’t get stuck in. There are 10 guys who can kick a deadball as well as he does. If you are average physically and not a standout technically, what do you add to a de facto all star team?

    Shea needs to figure out a way to be indispensible, and probably also to decide whether he’s taking the paycheck or the NT career path. He’s headed down the path where the paychecks are higher but the NT coach forgets your name and number, tells the press you haven’t impressed him (as if he’s seen you) if anyone asks why you weren’t called. He might eventually come back here but be too old to reverse his US fortunes. Time to grab the bull by the horns.

    • This is—surprisingly—the best description of a complex problem that I have ever read. Applies to so many would-be stars (and not just Americans).

      (On a side note, the absence of this problem is one of the main reasons I enjoy watching the women’s team.)

  9. As someone who grew up in the States, can someone who knows the ins and outs of this shed some light on the practical side of transfers and loans? What I mean is this – how much power does Brek Shea have to get himself loaned out? I’ve seen various reports of “this player (or national team coach) want so and so out on loan”, but the club holds his contract. What’s each party’s power vis-a-vis the others in a situation like this? There are other relevant examples as well – Parkhurst and Edu come to mind.


    • you can’t force anything. the team holds your contract. the key to the puzzle is “does the loan make sense” for both parties. if he’s not going to play at stoke in the near future, but you see potential value down the road, or can’t dump his contract … a loan makes sense. .. 1. because the player is getting playing time … 2. sometimes the team that receives the loaned player pays a monthly fee for the athlete, or they just pick up the salary portion while the player is in their stable.

      it saves stoke money potentially, and if he’s not in their plans, it gives them a chance to showcase Brek, until they offload him

  10. Umm, his latest setback came playing against an MLS side in an exhibition match. That injury could have easily happened if he’d stayed in MLS. Was his move bone headed when Tony Pulis was heading Stoke? Maybe, but when Hughes came in Shea was looking crazy like a fox because Hughes was riding high on him before his latest injury. All he needs is to stay healthy and some playing time. If he starts for a Championship side and starts to impose his style, I’d be shocked if Hughes didn’t recall him.

  11. Omg it would be a horrible move he needs to play at a champions league team in either Spain Italy or Germany just like Dempsey and altidore and every American needs to do.

    • Except that’s not going to happen. He can’t get playing time at Stoke so he needs to move to a much better team in the Champions league? Not gonna happen.

    • We only have two players on the whole team who play in the Champions league. Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan. The championship would be a great league for him to get time. Most of our players in England play there. Plus you really can’t say they need to be at those huge teams in those Countries. There could possibly up to 9 or 10 players from the MLS on this world cup team. What matters is that they are playing.

  12. Shea is a physical monster with the perfect physique. What he’s missing is soccer brains and technique. He relied far too much on his strength and speed to over perform in MLS.

    He needed to go to Holland or Portugal to slowly learn the other aspects of soccer that MLS isn’t good at teaching. He needed to learn close control, off-the-ball movements, passing, and if he’s a winger, better crossing.

    Heading straight to the PL, while a financial windfall, was a poor soccer choice. I have more faith in Agudelo’s move because Agudelo does show those smarter, more technical abilities.

    Like Jozy, Shea may end up floating around until he realizes that he needs to go back to basics before progressing.

    • Brek is 23 going on 24. If he doesn’t have the skills you described, if he can’t do those things now, he never will.

      My guess is he has all those skills because JK very obviously rates Shea and would not do so if Brek lacked those skills.

      He mostly needs to get fitness back and then find a good manager who will put him in situation where he can work on re-developing and fine tuning his game. At his best, Shea is big, fast, strong, direct and relentless. At his best Shea is very good at unsettling defenses.

      • GW, with proper coaching even in his 20s, a player can improve his reading of the game and off the ball movement, as well technical aspects like ball control, first touch, etc- just look at Jozy before and after he went to Holland. Otherwise, professional teams wouldn’t bother to do tactical and technical training. They would be just doing speed, strengh and agility training. Klinsi rates Brek Shea for his athleticism and ability to gallop down the flank against tired legs when coming off the bench. However, Shea is a limited player in terms of his technical skills and soccer IQ (e.g., his errant pass that led to Salvador’s goal that eliminated our U23 team from the Olympics qualifiers). He can improve with proper high level coaching, which I suspect he lacked in his formative years. Holland or Portugal are more technical and tactically savy leagues than Championship and are much better in developing players (e.g. Ronaldo, Robben, Van Persie, etc).

      • US fans seem embarrassed by a player they view as “unskilled”, meaning un-Adu like, making it to a higher level, as if somehow it reflects badly on the US.
        Or maybe you just think Shea is a not a good role model for the youth of America.

        It never hurts to play for a top flight manager with a great coaching staff. You can always learn something new.
        But at Shea’s age, he is what he is and it may be good enough for the BPL.

        Hughes actions seem to indicate that he rates Shea. Most of you think Hughes is an idiot but he was an excellent striker in his day for Man U. ,Barca, Chelsea and Wales and, while he is no Ferguson, he knows just a little bit about soccer.

        And I think he feels that what Shea does best is enough to get him a place in the BPL. He certainly would not have kept Shea around if Brek was the kind of Cromagnon, kick the ball with his toes kind of player y’all are portraying him to be.

        Shea is not a complete player by any means but his best may just be good enough to get him a job.

        If you think that there is no place in the BPL for a limited but effective player you need look no further than Manchester United and Chicharito. Take away his finishing skill and tell me if Hernandez is a BPL player? That did not bother SAF. In fact you could have made that same argument about Deuce.

  13. How about holland to work on his first touch. He sure won’t get it in the championship that will make it worse because all they will do is tell him to run.

  14. It’s interesting how quickly I forget about players that move to Europe and don’t get playing time. This is my list of players that I have to remind myself are still out there:

    Brek Shea
    Tim Ream
    Maurice Edu
    Jonathan Bornstein (did he ever play again)

    • And Juan Agudelo has gone to speed in part because he seems to be going through the motions awaiting a Euro move where he may or may not catch the coach’s eye and revive his career. Shea pulled the same thing and since he arrived hurt he’s been behind the eight ball.

      Freddy Adu is also always gunning for his next pointless move abroad and in the process ruining his chances on the more suitable MLS stage.

      Joseph Gyau lined up Hoffenheim but that’s proved a U23 and senior fiasco, and he had to practice with USL Vancouver while waiting for his 18th. I can’t see how that’s better than MLS.

      • I don’t think Agudelo is ever going to amount to much. He just doesn’t seem to have the drive necessary to really succeed at the highest levels. He is one of the more naturally gifted players in MLS, and I think he is in for an unpleasant surprise when he get to Stoke and no one gives a crap about him.

      • Good point about situations being better than MLS. I’ll make it a point and say for the younger players to sign no more than a 2 year deal. That way the club will want to see a return on there investment and more incentive for the US player to take this chance as the most important choice of his life and make it REAL.

      • Most US players, as a majority, need one year in Europe to polish the edges and accelerate the mental side of the game like anticipation, reaction, and timing. This is necessary because MLS is not far, but a level below on the mental side of the game.

      • To be fair, most European-based players need a year to adjust to mls as well. That’s just how it is when moving.

  15. this dude is just. He’s talented but he may be wasting that due to his illogical thinking. Plus repeat injuries. He may not be ready for the PL. Ship him to France or Holland. Might be best for him

  16. I guess Shea is making a lot more money at Stoke but otherwise he would’ve been better off just staying in MLS until he was actually ready to get regular minutes in a better league.

      • Naw, he is just a tall fast guy. That is not enough. Go watch him in the gold cup. He scored but it was just his speed. He did nothing else at all.

        Can’t pass, can’t cross. Not that great at shooting. He needs practice. Franchise player he is not.

      • you are dreaming. he is no longer hurt and can’t break in to the lineup because he is not polished enough.He may have to do the championship route.

      • I know you’re a texas homer, but that is not the reason he is not playing.

        To quote someone above, “Shea is bad at the soccer part of soccer.”

        So simple and so true.

    • He could have stayed in MLS but the way Dallas handled him he pretty much had to leave there. He was complaining about the injury in his foot even before his last season there started. He struggled all season and it wasn’t until Klinsmann flew in a specialist 5 months later he got surgury for it. Why Dallas couldn’t find some one and the national team coach had step in seems kind of strange to me.


Leave a Comment