[AMERICANS ABROAD] Brek Sheabegan the week as usual, continuing his recovery from surgery to remove a bone in his foot and training with FC Dallas on Monday morning. By Thursday, the final day of the January transfer window, the 22-year-old midfielder was greeted to chants of "U-S-Shea" as he left training at English club Stoke City. The Potters reported the transfer fee to be 2.6 pounds ($4 million), tying it for fourth among the highest estimated fees an MLS club has paid for an American.
"Brek is a very, very exciting player, and one who we believe could go on to become a very good player for Stoke," said Stoke manager Tony Pulis.
Pulis traveled to London Thursday to help clear the final hurdle: Shea's work permit appeal.
Shea had already passed a medical exam with the Potters, but the deal was contingent on Shea winning the appeal of his work permit application.
He had not played in 75 percent of the USA's international games over the past two seasons, but Stoke's attorneys argued mitigating circumstances: the broken sesamoid bone, which had plagued him most of last year and was surgically removed in November.
"It's fantastic news that we have been able to push through the deal," Pulis said. "He has terrific pace, a very good left foot and he is capable of scoring goals. If you look at the clippings of him on the Internet then you will see what he is all about. I believe he has all the tools needed to be a success here."
Highest MLS Transfer Fees (Americans)
|1. Jozy Altidore||$10 million||New York Red Bulls||Villarreal||2008|
|2. Eddie Johnson||$6 million||Kansas City Wizards||Fulham||2008|
|3. Maurice Edu||$5 million||Toronto FC||Rangers||2008|
|4. Brek Shea||$4 million||FC Dallas||Stoke City||2013|
|4. Clint Dempsey||$4 million||New England Revolution||Fulham||2006|
|6. Tim Howard||$3.6 million||MetroStars||Man. United||2003|
|7. Tim Ream||$2.75 million||New York Red Bulls||Bolton Wanderers||2012|
|8. Geoff Cameron||$2.7 million||Houston Dynamo||Stoke City||2012|
|9. DaMarcus Beasley||$2.5 million||Chicago Fire||PSV||2004|
|10. Freddy Adu||$2 million||Real Salt Lake||Benfica||2007|
Note: All fees are estimates based on reports at the time of the transfer.