In search of options to replace Greg Garza and his hairstyle, Atlanta United announced Sunday that it has signed left back/left winger/forward/artist Brek Shea. Goal.com first reported that the former FC Dallas, Stoke, Orlando City, and Vancouver Whitecaps player was set to join the Five Stripes.
“We’re pleased to add a player of Brek’s caliber and versatility to the club,” Atlanta United Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra said. “He has significant experience, playing numerous years in MLS, overseas and for the U.S. Men’s National Team, and will be a great addition to our locker room.”
So far, Shea’s story has been one of unfulfilled promise and warnings about Americans not fitting in abroad. Shea’s career started with great promise at FC Dallas, where he scored 19 goals and was in the MLS MVP discussion during his best career year in 2011. But things have largely gone downhill since.
In 2015 Shea was signed by Orlando City (after an unrewarding three-year stint in England) and converted from marauding forward to left back. The results weren’t great and Shea was shipped to Vancouver when OCSC undertook their annual rebuilding process before the 2017 season. In Canada, Shea picked up right where he left off and saw his playing time diminish. In his four seasons in MLS since returning from Europe, the former future next big thing has 10 goals and 10 assists.
What Shea also has is an absolute cannon of a left foot, versatility, and has shown a willingness to serve whatever role he’s asked. He could be a valuable addition to the team and at the very least becomes the tallest player on the roster at 6’ 3” who isn’t a goalkeeper.
Plus... you can’t get entertainment like this just anywhere in MLS.