Orlando City SC had a busy week last week bringing in the likes of Amobi Okugo, Tally Hall, and Aurelien Collin via trades and added other players in the MLS Expansion Draft. The pieces and team are bringing brought in at an aggressive pace. On Sunday, Orlando Sentinel’s Paul Tenorio reports that USMNT and Stoke City player Brek Shea will sign with Orlando City this week.
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Since going to Stoke City, Shea has had trouble finding much playing time. He’s spent time on loan at other teams looking for playing time and garnering the attention of Jurgen Klinsmann. The left winger is talented and a move back to MLS has been talked about for awhile now. In the Summer Shea worked out for Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath.
"“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. The one thing that’s very apparent is the size and the power and the pace… It gives us an idea of what some of the players are like at the next level.”"
Before the 24-year-old winger joined Stoke City in January 2013, Shea played for FC Dallas from 2008-2012. He had 78 starts and contributed with 19 goals and 14 assists. As mentioned before, Shea hasn’t found regular playing time with Stoke City. If he moved to Orlando City, he would most likely become the team’s starter at left-wing.
In oder to acquire Shea, Orlando City would have to go through the allocation rankings. They currently hold the No. 2 spot with NYCFC holding the first spot. As stated on MLS’s website,
"“The allocation ranking is the mechanism used to determine which MLS club has first priority to acquire a U.S. National Team player who signs with MLS after playing abroad, or a former MLS player who returns to the League after having gone to a club abroad for a transfer fee. Designated Players (DPs) of a certain threshold don’t go through the allocation ranking mechanism”"
Most recently, Clint Dempsey is one of the DPS that did not go through the ranking as Seattle Sounders acquired his rights. It would appear that Brek Shea’s salary would be above the “certain threshold”, but the league is vague on what exactly that threshold is. Shea signed a $3.9 million long-term contract with Stoke City in 2013.
It will be interesting to see how this develops later in the week. Bringing Shea onto the team would be a smart move for Heath and Orlando City. He’s a young, experienced player who can contribute from the start. He also fills a need on the wing for Orlando as well.
Stay tune to Playing for 90 during this busy MLS offseason as we keep you updated on all of the latest transfers, signings, and rumors.