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Report: Former USMNT midfielder Brek Shea to join Atlanta United


The defending MLS champions look ready to add an experienced left-sided player to the mix as they prepare for a busy 2019.

Atlanta United are set to sign former U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Brek Shea, reported on Thursday. The 28-year-old will reportedly sign as a free agent after the Vancouver Whitecaps failed to pick up his option.

Shea spent two seasons with the Canadian club since being acquired from Orlando City following the 2016 season. 2018 saw Shea record three goals and two assists in 28 appearances with Vancouver.

Shea’s versatility could make him a valuable asset for Atlanta United. He could help offset the departure of Greg Garza as an option at left back and left wingback, while also being able to play in attacking roles on the left flank.

After an unsuccessful stint with Stoke City in the English Premier League, Shea returned to MLS and is closing in on 200 career league appearances between his time with FC Dallas, Orlando City, and Vancouver.

The 6-foot-3 Shea also has won 34 caps for the USMNT and will see his season start quickly if he signs with Atlanta. The Five Stripes begin Concacaf Champions League play on Feb. 21st against Costa Rican Champions Herediano in the Round of 16.


  1. I wish this move happened with Tata at Atlanta. with his attributes Brek Shea would have been dynamic. If a coach is able to convincingly win an MLS Cup and bring the best out of old AMERICAN players like Jeff Larentowicz (35) or Michael Parkhurst (34), and making them excel in positions that are overflowing with younger talent in MLS (but made them his starters and stuck with them!!!!!) imagine what he could have done with a player like Brek Shea. Lets hope Frank de Boer has something special in store for him

    • Sorry no, both Parkhurst and Larentowicz were both better players before joining ATL than Shea has been. Tata put them in positions to succeed, but I don’t know that Shea has such a position. What Tata and Boca saw was that the way the two played that they could continue the production they had had with their previous clubs when other clubs shied away because of age, not production. Shea is the perfect example of just because you played in the EPL (121 minutes over 2 seasons) doesn’t mean you are more talented than players in other leagues. Stoke took a flyer on him because he was young athletic and looked the part.

      Stats before Tata:
      Larentowicz 11 straight seasons as the regular starter for his team, 38 MLS goals, four MLS Cup appearances including one title
      Parkhurst 7 years as a regular starter in MLS including four MLS Cup appearances, 3 1/2 seasons as a regular starter in Denmark with one Superliga title and 2 Danish Cup Titles, 25 USMNT caps, including 2 GC titles, and a cup of coffee in the Bundesliga for Augsburg where he made two appearances including one start.

      • You make absolutely no sense, lol….Parkhurst and Larentowicz, at 34 and 35 years of age respectively are better players than Brea Shea AT 27 YEARS ??? ?!!!! Lol…how many times has Larentowicz been called up to the USMNT…in any capacity??? Who of those two players has seen more playing time in a USMNT jersey, junior or senior, than Shea??? people like yourself and so quick to forget Brek Shea when he was a shining star playing for FC Dallas. If anything he is a victim of poor choices and “wrong place at the wrong time” scenerio….and at 28 he still has a lot to offer. Tata DID put them in positions to succeed and he would have found a way to rotate Brek Shea into the mix too……so again I wish Shea would have gone to Altanta when Tata was there as he would have become a better player

      • Hmmmmm…then I guess according to you Chris Wondolowski is the greatest USMNT to ever play the game ? ……. I mean 288 appearances for San Jose with 140 goals, MLS’s top scorer in the 2010 and 2012 seasons, also being named the 2012 Most Valuable Player, played a part in Houston Dynamo MLS Cup wins in 2006 and 2007 ……I guess, according to your way of thinking, he is better than say Jozy Altidore, ???, NOT

      • Yes, both Larentowicz and Parkhurst are better that’s why they start and have been everyday starters for their entire careers. Shea is a part-time starter and has been since returning to MLS after an England adventure that was so bad his numbers there were worse than Jozy’s time in England. Shea had one good year with Dallas,2011 when he scored 11 goals he’s scored 10 in his four full seasons since returning to MLS which is 10 more than he scored in England. He was such a bad forward that they moved him to LB, which he was so bad at that he was moved back to LW and CF. Why do I think Tata wouldn’t have found the right spot for him, because he’s played everywhere but DM and CB and he is a terrible tackler and is positionally unaware so I don’t think that would work either.
        And if given the choice between Wondo and Shea, I’d take 35-year-old Wondo, because he scored more goals and assisted on more in the same league and he did it on a far worse team.

      • Yes, both Larentowicz and Parkhurst are better that’s why they start”….Hahahaha, really just because they start??? Just because you are on the bench for one team doesn’t mean you cant be a starter in another.

        “Shea is a part-time starter and has been since returning to MLS after an England adventure that was so bad his numbers there were worse than Jozy’s time in England.”….Tony Pulis ruled Brek Shea out for the remainder of the 2012–13 season because he didn’t quite recover from injury and his foot operation (INJURY) had affected his fitness so he cannot be compared to Altidore who made the “worst player to play in the EPL” list hahahaha, nice try:

        “Why do I think Tata wouldn’t have found the right spot for him”…stop right here. If Tata can start a player like Larentowicz on an offensive powerhouse like Atlanta at both CB and DM he is the right coach to find the right spot for a player like Brek Shea

        “And if given the choice between Wondo and Shea, I’d take 35-year-old Wondo,”..and that’s fair, because given Altidore or Wondo I’d take 35 year old Wondo too hahahaha

    • What exactly has Shea done in his career that surpasses Parkhurst and Larentowicz? He had potential. It didn’t pan out. His physical attributes got people excited. Too bad he wasn’t good enough.

      • Panda….What exactly has Larentowicz done??? Nobody knew he existed as a player and he hasn’t been in any ALL-star or USMNT lineup… lets not act like he has been an MLS star lol. Parkhurst is a different story…..

    • Wondo or Jozy; pick your poison. One works extremely hard and is open most of the game so teammates can find him with the ball, the other not so much. Once they have the ball, one can be much more dangerous while the other relies upon being able to generate more chances. Finally, one spends way too much time out with injury while the other seems pretty immune to that. Injured players who don’t play score no goals for long stretches. If only Jozy had Wondo’s soccer brain and immunity to injury, WOW!

      • Over the course of an MLS season, its a debate especially three or four years ago. For two games in a national team window and you know Jozy is healthy it is no contest partly because Wondo’s athletic ability isn’t high enough for international play but its good enough for MLS. Wondo was still tied for 4th for goals from American’s last season. Wondo still had 10 goals (4th among Americans in MLS) and 5 assists last year while on a complete dumpster fire of a team.

      • Johnnyrazor…physical attributes don’t make you a better player….its putting the ball in the back of the net, CONSISTENTLY. The same players Wondo scored against are the same players that played for their country and upset the USMNT (yet we had a player better than them in the same league THEY PLAY IN and refuse to use him!!!!). If player A can score more goals in the same league over a long period of time than player B then player A is better at that craft than player B (apples to apples as in forwards to forwards). Wondolowski was NEVER given the same number of chances as Altidore and a lot of his goals for the USMNT came from coming off the bench. Altidore was favored over Wondo based on they same attributes you are taking about (speed, strength) and that’s why the USMNT couldn’t seem to find the back of the net against minnows of CONCACAF…because its about scoring goals not hold up plays

        MLS 2018
        Wondo (35 YEARS) 10 goals 5 assists
        Altidore (29 YEARS) 7 goals 1 assist

        MLS 2017
        Wondo (34 YEARS) 13 goals 8 assists
        Altidore (28 YEARS) 15 goals 6 assists

        MLS 2016
        Wondo (33 YEARS) 12 goals 3 assists
        Altidore (27 YEARS)10 goals 5 assists

        MLS 2015
        Wondo (32 YEARS) 16 goals 2 assists
        Altidore (26 YEARS) 13 goals 0 assists

        MLS 2014
        Wondo (31YEARS) 14 goals 4 assists
        Altidore (25 YEARS) embarassing the stars and stripes in the EPL

        Wondo is old now but taking their resumes into account HAS BEEN a better forward than Jozy Altidore

    • “…..What exactly has Larentowicz done??? Nobody knew he existed as a player and he hasn’t been in any ALL-star or USMNT lineup… lets not act like he has been an MLS star lol. Parkhurst is a different story…..”

      Right, so…. let’s completely marginalize Larentowicz – the consummate professional that’s been a part of four MLS Cup teams, lifted the trophy twice, and shown that he’s capable of starting and executing a wide variety of tactical plans in a number of different positions across multiple teams and managers – and instead extol the virtues of Brek Shea, a freakish athlete with a decent left foot, who’s career consists of unrealized potential, a couple of good YouTube highlights and one good MLS season seven years ago?

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Shea can be impressive when his one trick works. When that fails him and since he has only one trick, it will, his inability to find a second choice leaves him without the ball.
      Beyond that, he seems not to have developed much in the way of a soccer brain so he cannot find the game and must wait for it to come to him.
      If he were a pure defender able to concentrate the whole game, that would work, but he is not, as a defender,he gets caught napping too often.

  2. i don’t know who the idea was to hire this guy. Even at the minimum $ 67.5 he’ll be to expensive. Boca is making a big mistake.

    • Like all other overhyped young Americans he had superior athleticism which got him a lot of attention, but never had the technical ability to live up to his potential.

      • Nor, most importantly it seems, did he have the drive to improve- to really work hard at his game. Sometimes later in the game players wake up w/ regrets. Ex: Feilhaber never played a lick of defense until the last few years- had he started that at 20? Different story altogether eh?. Shea will never reach what he could have been had he worked early- but the talent is there for him to be a very solid MLS player still. The advantage of very deep pockets is this is really actually low risk for ATL.

    • What position does Brek excel at? Abstracted talent is all well and good, and “two way” mediocre mush seem popular these days, but there is something to be said in terms of usefulness to a coach and longevity in terms of being good at a specialty. A jack of all trades master of none sounds nice in theory but then when you have to field a team it’s like where do I play the guy. And then you play him in different places and they are decent but you want someone who plays that specific slot well as opposed to a few spots but only ok. In the end coaches want players good at their positions and then the swiss army guy is bench material.

      • I mean, is he a forward? A wing? A wingback? Cameron has a version of this problem in terms of overall success (broke in as a wing sub, became a 10 or DM, went to CB, and then was tried RB, and never quite got consistent at any of them), but was better at and thus more useful at the individual positions.

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