Brek Shea’s move to Stoke City, coming up on the year anniversary of that fateful choice, just keeps looking worse and worse.
And that’s saying something, because it never looked good.
Shea has played in one Premier League match for Stoke this year, helping to mop up the mess for Mark Hughes’ side in a 4-0 loss to Everton. Clearly, one appearance in a lost cause is not much to hang your hat one.
Here comes the “worse:”
Today, Hughes declined to name Shea for the 18 in a League Cup quarterfinal date Wednesday against Manchester United.
On the one hand, Stoke is not one of the Premier League favorites; the usual heavyweights are the teams that seriously dip into the squad for fixtures in the League Cup, the third- or fourth-ranked competition in terms of priorities for England clubs.
Still, teams from the middle of the pack or the lower end do use League Cup matches to grant minutes to reserves. So, what does this say about Shea’s place at the Britannia?
United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has been patient with Shea, although it a patience borne of necessity. Fact is, Shea keeps getting opportunities with the national team only because of a serious lack of wingers in the pool.
But the U.S. manager’s patience has a limit. We’ve said it before, but it deserves to be said again: Shea must move in the January window, on loan or outright. Otherwise, his chances of improving and, more immediately, landing on the 23-man World Cup roster are disappearing in front of us.