According to multiple reports, Stoke City and U.S. Men’s National Team veteran Brek Shea is in talks to join Orlando City for their inaugural season. Details on the contract are being finalized this week in what is clearly another big splash signing for the Lions.
Shea’s arrival comes on the heels of Orlando City’s aggressive moves last Monday when former MLS All Stars Tally Hall and Aurélien Collin as well as Amobi Okugo were acquired. With reports out that the Lions are about to announce the signing of Honduran striker Bryan Róchez, and the Expansion draft steal of Philadelphia Union striker Pedro Ribeiro, things are looking pretty solid for the scoring third of Adrian Heath’s side.
While Shea hasn’t exactly lit things up in the Premier League, he has more than enough in the tank to compete effectively in MLS. With 27 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team, including one as recently as this past September, Shea has shown the kind of ability that is a force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t hurt that he trained with Orlando City this past June which allowed Head Coach Adrian Heath to see him up close and personal. The Gaffer was impressed.
“I can’t hide the fact that I’ve enjoyed working with him and seeing him close up,” Heath said at the time. “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.”
Orlando City has been in the market for players with MLS experience, and preferably ones with success in the top flight of American soccer. Shea brings that experience as well as an athletic ability that got the attention of teams in the Premier League. It’s that physical strength that has him set to play a big role as the Lions venture forth on their inaugural MLS campaign. Heath remarked on this quality last summer, “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.”
Orlando City figures to have Shea join as an attacking midfielder to the left of Kaka and Kevin Molino in the 4-2-3-1 formation. With this potent midfield, it’s not hard to imagine a team that is competitive from the first kick.
Here are a few highlights of Orlando City’s newest midfielder to ponder: