FC Dallas and MLS have reached an agreement to transfer 22-year-old midfielder Brek Shea to English Premier League side Stoke City F.C.
“We appreciate Brek’s many contributions to FC Dallas during the last five years and wish him the best with Stoke City F.C.,” said Dan Hunt, vice president of Hunt Sports Group. “The standard is high and still rising in our league, and this is another testament to the regard that clubs and leagues around the world have for Major League Soccer. We’re also excited about what this means for FC Dallas moving forward as it opens up many possibilities to improve our team.”
According to Hunt, FC Dallas will use proceeds from the transfer to strengthen its current roster.
FC Dallas selected Shea second overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft as a 17-year-old member of the Generation adidas initiative. The Texas native went on to play 98 games for FC Dallas, tallying 19 goals and 14 assists. In 2010, Shea scored his first MLS goal, earned a starting spot for FC Dallas and made his first appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
“This is one of those bittersweet situations,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said. “We are very excited for Brek to take this important step in his career, but we’re also going to miss him here. This will be a good, fresh challenge for Brek, and we believe he is well-prepared and ready to make an impact for Stoke.”
A finalist for the 2011 Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player award, Shea was named to both the 2011 and 2012 MLS All-Star teams and the 2011 MLS Best XI. During his breakout 2011 season, Shea led FC Dallas with 11 goals and tied for the league lead with five game-winners.
“I am incredibly grateful for my five years with FC Dallas,” said Shea. “I want to thank the Hunt family, my teammates, the coaching staff, everyone in the front office and especially the FC Dallas fans for their support and encouragement over the years. I also would like to thank MLS and Generation adidas for making it possible for me to start my professional career in the U.S., as well as my family and agents at Wasserman for their never-ending support. Dallas will always be a special place to me and I feel my time here has prepared me well for this exciting, new challenge with Stoke City F.C. in the Premiership.”
On the international stage, Shea has become a mainstay on Jurgen Klinsmann’s U.S. squad. He earned his first career assist for the United States on the equalizer against rival Mexico on Aug. 10, 2011. One year later, he created the goal-scoring opportunity for the U.S. that helped the side to its historic first victory on Mexican soil. He was one of three players to appear in every game in 2011 under Klinsmann and was the first player born in the 1990s to earn a cap for the U.S. Men’s National Team when he started on Oct. 12, 2010, against Colombia. Following his breakout 2011 season, Shea was named U.S. Soccer’s Best Young Male Athlete.
Stoke City is currently holding the 10th spot in the Barclays Premier League with 30 points.