By CAITLIN MURRAY
Brek Shea is in need of a move away from Stoke City, and it appears he has targeted a stateside return.
According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, the American winger is on the cusp of a move to Major League Soccer to join expansion side Orlando City SC next year. The report, citing unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the transfer, said the move should be finalized in coming days.
Shea, 24, joined Stoke City last year on long-term contract worth $3.9 million, but he has seen little playing time. Shea has made three appearances for the Potters, and been sent on two separate loans that have not yielded as much playing time as he would like.
Orlando City and Stoke City have a loose partnership through Lions’ president Phil Rawlins, who was once a director of the English Premier League club. Shea spent several weeks training with Orlando City over the summer and coach Adrian Heath at the time hinted he was interested in what Shea had to offer.
“I can’t hide the fact that I’ve enjoyed working with him and seeing him close up,” Heath told MLSsoccer.com in June. “You can look at players from afar but you really only get to know what they’re like when you see them this close up.”
Shea spent his first five seasons as a professional in MLS with FC Dallas, amassing 78 starts with 19 goals and 14 assists from 2008-2012. He moved to Stoke City in January 2013, but never carved out a regular role for the club.
Orlando City will make their MLS debut next year and have filled their roster with some talented players, including Brazil’s Kaka, Amobi Okugo and Aurelien Collin.
What do you think of Shea heading to Orlando City? Is this the right move for Shea to return to MLS? Is it a good signing for OCSC?
Share your thoughts below.