As reported last weekend, Brek Shea is heading back to Major League Soccer. Orlando City will be his destination.
During his weekly press conference on Thursday, Stoke City’s manager Mark Hughes confirmed that Shea has been in talks with Orlando and the finder details are being sorted out.
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Shea, 24, has made just three appearances for the Potters since signing for the Premier League club in January 2013 for a reported fee of around $4 million and is contracted to Stoke until the end of the 2017-18 season.
Asked about Shea’s future at Stoke, Hughes kept it brief and to the point.
“We envisage Brek completing his move to Orlando. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but he was in the building yesterday trying to tie it up.”
The big question now is whether or not this move is a loan deal or a permanent transfer back to MLS. The latter seems unlikely as Shea would have to go through the allocation process, which New York City FC currently sit at the top of and would therefore have first refusal over his rights if the U.S. national team player was to return to MLS on a permanent basis.
However even if he does come back on loan, Orlando is at number two in the allocation order following the reset after the 2014 MLS season had finished. That means they are in a prime position to bolster their attack. with NYC FC reportedly not interested in the former FC Dallas star.
With Orlando City’s chairman and minority owner Phil Rawlins also on the board at Stoke City, this smells like a loan move for the Texan. After loan spells at Barnsely and Birmingham City in England’s second-tier in recent months, Shea is heading back to his homeland to help get his career back on track. And with Hughes a big fan of the USMNT attacker, don’t rule out a return to Stoke in the future if he gets firing again in 2015 for the Lions.