Brek Shea Returns to MLS, Has Opportunity to Turn Career around


Brek Shea returns to MLS two years after signing a contract with Stoke City. Before he departed for Europe, he spent five years with FC Dallas and was among the regular rotation of players called-up to the USMNT. Then he departed for Stoke City, saw little playing time with Stoke, and was loaned out twice to Barnsley and Birmingham City. His last USMNT call-up came during the 2013 Gold Cup where he scored the game-winning goal against Panama in the final. Since then, his career has seemed to hit a rough patch and 24-year-old is looking to turn around his career and become part of the USMNT call-ups again. By signing with Orlando City SC he has the opportunity and chance to do that.

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USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is high on the national team players playing over in Europe. Yet, many of the national team’s stars play in MLS and that’s a good thing because they are actually playing and staying fit. For players like Shea, going to Europe is not always the answer. Shea chased his dream by signing with Premier League side Stoke City, and I can’t blame him. However, it hasn’t gone as planned and it’s better he came back to MLS than try to find another European side to play for. Shea’s Europe experience shows that the grass is not always greener across the pond when it comes to a player’s career.

With Orlando City Shea is basically guaranteed to start game in and game out. In the past two years, Shea has failed to start many games. Likewise, he only appeared in 15 competitive club games during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. His lack of play hurt his chances of being part of Klinsmann’s 23-man rosters for international friendlies and more importantly the 2014 World Cup.

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Joevin Jones out of contract following 2022, two others have club options
Joevin Jones out of contract following 2022, two others have club options /

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  • Coming to MLS is a win-win for both Shea and Orlando City SC. Shea will be a key player to the Lions’ inaugural season and the Lions will benefit from his talent. At the age of 24, Shea is still in his prime and consistent playing time will allow him to return to the Brek Shea everyone remembers back with FC Dallas. His skill on the wing and dangerous goal-scoring ability will force opponents to guard him carefully. He is paired up with an international legend in Kaka and another young, budding star in Amobi Okugo, who was acquired earlier this month from the Philadelphia Union.

    Orlando is aggressively adding talented players piece by piece in order to compete in 2015. Not only does it look like they will be competitive in 2015, but they look like they will challenge to bring a trophy home in their first MLS season.

    The offseason continues as Orlando looks to find a final piece or two to their already star-studded lineup. For Shea, 2015 looks to be a good year for him as he’s found a new home for his career that includes consistent playing time. With a tough friendly schedule and the 2015 Gold Cup looming for the USMNT, Shea’s early performance with Orlando City will be important not only for the Lions but also for his USMNT call-up chances.

    Next: Seattle Sounders First 2015 Season Game Announced