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Orlando City trades Shea to Whitecaps in exchange for Barnes

Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports
Photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

With less than a week remaining before the start of the MLS regular season, two teams got together for a blockbuster.

Orlando City has traded winger Brek Shea to the Vancouver Whitecaps in exchange for forward Giles Barnes, the two teams announced on Saturday. The move comes exactly eight days before the two teams take the field for their first regular season match.

Shea joins the Whitecaps after two seasons in Orlando that saw him shift between winger and wing back. The former FC Dallas star is a two-time MLS All-Star and has made 34 senior appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Last season, Shea started 22 matches, contributing three goals and two assists.

“We are excited to welcome Brek to our club and city,” said Whitecaps FC manager Carl Robinson. “Brek is a tall, physical, skilled player and will bring a different dimension to our attack. Brek will join the group in coming days and we anticipate he will be available for selection as early as this Thursday’s Champions League match against New York.”

Barnes moves to Orlando just several months after being traded to the Whitecaps. The Jamaican forward has scored 33 goals and provided 15 assists in 120 career MLS starts, but the signing of Fredy Montero gave the Whitecaps a new option at the forward position. Orlando City, meanwhile, was in the market for another striker to join a younger crop of forwards headlined by Cyle Larin.

“We’re thrilled to boost our attack with a player like Giles. His versatility to score and create goals will be a valuable asset this season,” added Orlando General Manager Niki Budalic. “I’d like to thank Brek for his exemplary professionalism during his time with our Club.”


  1. I’m pretty psyched about this move. Shea + Montero have the potential to solve a big part of the Whitecaps issues from last year. The other part of this is that a guy like Manneh may have a breakout season with Montero and Shea on the field. Plus the teenager, Alfonso Davies, looks to be the real deal. The Caps should be much stronger this year. They may struggle early as these four players integrate into the squad (Davies played only a couple of games, Manneh was hurt, and the two new guys…) I may not fall asleep at any games this year.

  2. When Shea is fit, healthy, happy, and feeling confident he’s a menace even on the national level, this shockingly fast, shockingly skilled huge dude who can go marauding down the flank while turning guys inside out.

    Most of the time one of those things is not there and he looks like he’s got wooden paddles for feet, and looks kinda like Big Bird from Sesame Street trying to play soccer. Or he’s hurt.

    The problem is you dismiss him at your peril, because the second you get fed up with him and pull this sort of trade he comes back and single-handedly beats you in the playoffs.

    Dude would be frustrating to coach. Or coach against.

  3. Don’t know if Robinson’s the guy there..

    When they’re on, they play a fast-paced exiting style that’s kinda pleasing to look at..

    His personnel decisions (he’s influencial) leave a lot to be desired..

    He brings in a bunch of carbon copy midfield types with an occasional failed No. 9/target guy thrown in..

    They don’t seem to have a definitive style of play while being perpetually stuck in “overachiever/underdog” status as a club..

    Seems like DC United-West with this guy in charge..

    Unless they show well in CCL play, they will remain overshadowed by both their Cascadia and Canadian rivals

    • And while everyone’s high on Manneh..

      He doesn’t seem to have a clue what his role is..

      Is he a wide player? Withdrawn forward? Poacher?

      Seems like Robinson tells the guy to just run with it and shoot at goal..


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