By Chris Kouns (Twitter)
As the offseason roster moves heat up for Atlanta United it is time to start meeting the newest members of the Five Stripes.
First up, Brek Shea.
Brek Shea was a member of U.S. Soccer’s, Generation Adidas. Turning professional right out of high school, Brek was drafted by MLS side FC Dallas in 2008. Over the next ten years Shea spent time in MLS, the English Premier League and the English Championship Division. He worked his way through the U.S. National Team structure scoring four goals in 34 caps and winning the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup with then teammate Carlos Bocanegra, currently Atlanta United’s General Manager.
Shea is set to sign with will join Atlanta United as a free agent after the Vancouver Whitecaps released him at the end of the 2018 season this month. Shea made 28 appearances for Vancouver in 2018, netting three times on the road and dishing out two assists. In 2017, Shea had a slow start to his season due to an injury. Arriving in time for the CONCACAF Champions League, where he scored a goal in the CONCACAF Semi-Final. Shea ended up with four goals and two assists appearing in 25 games that season.
Early on in his career Shea was utilized primarily as an attacking player, most comfortable on the wing. In recent years, the versatile left-footed player has also been utilized along the back line where his 6’3” frame and better than average pace allow him to be effective as an attacking-minded defender.
Shea has signed with Atlanta United as a free agent after the Vancouver Whitecaps released him at the end of the 2018 season.
In short Atlanta United will pick-up a player with plenty of runway left in his career with National, International, and MLS experience and who has a successful background in the CONCACAF Champions League. His relationship with Bocanegra indicates he has the intangibles which are vital in the clubhouse. While no longer garnering Designated Player status, Shea is an affordable option on the flank who scored more goals than Romario Williams, Greg Garza or Chris McCann in 2018.