Manuel Veth –
Ahead of the 2017 Major League Soccer season the Vancouver Whitecaps continue to bolster their frontline. After already acquiring Yordy Reyna, and Fredy Montero in recent international transfers the Whitecaps announced that they had traded Giles Barnes for Orlando City winger Brek Shea.
In an official media statement Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson stated: “We are excited to welcome Brek to our club and city. Brek is a tall, physical, skilled player and will bring a different dimension to our attack. Brek will join the group in coming days and we anticipate he will be available for selection as early as this Thursday’s Champions League match against New York.”
Brek Shea will bring much needed experience
Brek Shea will indeed bring some much-needed experience to Vancouver’s frontline. Especially after Yordy Reyna went down with a major injury during training—the attacking midfielder fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot.
Shea, who will turn 27 on Tuesday, spent last season with Orlando City, and scored three goals, and two assists in 27 games. Before joining Orlando in 2015 Shea spent two years in England where he played for Stoke City, Birmingham City, and Barnsley. Furthermore, Shea has made 34 appearances for the United States national team in which he scored four goals.
Prior to his time in England Shea played four years with FC Dallas playing 98 games, and scoring 19 goals. He was also part of the MLS All-Star team in 2011, and a finalist for the 2011 MLS MVP award after he scored 11 goals, and gave four assists, in 31 games for FC Dallas.
In order to acquire Shea the Whitecaps have traded 28-year-old Giles Barnes to Orlando. Barnes featured in the Whitecaps quarterfinal match against New York Red Bulls on Wednesday after the club has had several players go down with injuries last week.
Shea could become a role model for Alphonso Davies
Robinson thanked Barnes after the trade on Saturday. “We are thankful to Giles for the contribution he made during his time at the club and we wish him all the best in Orlando.” Despite the warm words, however, the Whitecaps must have felt that the squad was still lacking depth on the wing, and that Barnes was not the long-term option on either wing. Indeed Barnes is better suited as a centre forward.
Valued at €1 million by transfermarkt.de Brek Shea can play all positions on the left wing. The question, however, will be whether Shea’s acquisition will hamper the development of super talent Alphonso Davies, who after all is also at home on the left wing.
Davies was certainly expected to acquire more starts for the Whitecaps throughout the 2017 season. At the same time at just 16-years of age Davies cannot yet be expected to start on a regular basis, and Shea could act as a role model for Davies, who is expected to become the face of the Whitecaps Football Club.
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist, and podcaster for WorldFootballIndex.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States”, which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @homosovieticus.