Brek Shea could play against the Red Bulls in the CCL Thursday. Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)
When the Red Bulls visit B.C. Place to play the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series, there could be a face on the hosts’ side they did not see last Thursday night.
That would be Brek Shea, who was dealt by Orlando City SC to the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday night for Jamaican international forward Giles Barnes.
Shea, who turns 27 on Tuesday, arrives in Vancouver having played the last two seasons with Orlando. Last year, the 6-3 midfielder-forward, who also spent time at left back, started 22 of 27 matches, scored three goals and added two assists. During his two seasons with the Lions, he started 39 of 46 matches with three goals and six assists.
“We are excited to welcome Brek to our club and city,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said. “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.”
Shea was with English Premier League side Stoke City for two seasons. As a member of the Potters, Shea spent time on loan with Championship clubs Birmingham City FC during the 2014-15 season and Barnsley FC during the 2013-14 season.
Before his move overseas, Shea started his professional career with his home-state team FC Dallas, after being drafted second overall by the club in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft.
The Red Bulls and Whitecaps played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Red Bull Wednesday night.
Since Barnes holds a U.S. green card, he qualifies as a domestic player.
“We’re thrilled to boost our attack with a player like Giles. His versatility to score and create goals will be a valuable asset this season,” Orlando general manager Niki Budalic said. “I’d like to thank Brek for his exemplary professionalism during his time with our club.”