Orlando City bring Brek Shea back to MLS

Brek Shea Orlando City

by RYAN BRISTER
Staff Writer

After a failed adventure in England, former USMNT midfielder Brek Shea has returned to Major League Soccer.

The 24-year-old signed today with Orlando City SC as they prepare for their first season in MLS.

Shea is not on a designated-player contract, though his four-year deal is a pay raise over his previous MLS contract. Orlando City used allocation money to keep Shea’s cap hit below the DP threshold. The Lions already have two DPs in Kaka and 19-year-old Honduran forward Bryan Rochez.

Shea has spent the past two and a half years with Stoke City in England, but he only made three appearances with the club. He found only a little more playing time on loan with teams in the Championship. OCSC has multiple ties to Stoke; owner Phil Rawlins was a part owner for 14 years, and head coach Adrian Heath played for the Potters in the 1980s. Shea trained with Orlando over the summer.

His English experiment was a dud, but Shea is still just 24-years old, and only three years removed from the promising MLS start that spurred his move to England. Despite his young age, the Texas native made 98 appearances for FC Dallas from 2008-2012. In 2011, he scored 11 goals and finished third in MVP voting.

Shea was one of American soccer’s many “next big things,” and has made 27 appearances for the USMNT despite a stagnating club career. There is still plenty of time and opportunity for Shea to recover some of his potential and get back on Jurgen Klinsmann’s radar.