FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — (June 25, 2020) — Inter Miami has signed Major League Soccer (MLS) free agent veteran defender/midfielder Brek Shea. He’s played over 220 MLS matches and more than 80 games on the international level.
“Brek is a player who we know very well from previous MLS experiences that brings a lot of attacking threat and defensive solidity,” said sporting director Paul McDonough. “He has been training and recovering from an injury, showing he is in his regular form and able to contribute to the First Team.”
Shea, 30, (full name Dane Brekken Shea) from College Station, Texas, is a former U.S. Men’s National Team player. He is said to possess technical ability, size and a creative attacking ingenuity that is rare in an MLS-based American player. He can provide quality service into the box with both feet, although he’s predominantly left-footed. He also describes himself as versatile: “I have played many positions,” said Shea. “I actually have played almost every single one in my MLS career. A lot of times when I play those positions it’s because someone’s injured or they need help filling in and I can do that.”
His ability to play a spot role, filling in as needed for Ben Sweat on defence or on the left side of midfield is the driving force behind signing him. Whether his knee will hold up is of course not known, but credit to Internacional for giving him a chance.
Shea played for FC Dallas from 2008-12, earning 2011 MLS Best XI and 2011 MLS All-Star honors while appearing in 103 games, where he scored 19 goals. He was transferred to Stoke City of the Premier League in January 2013 for a fee of $3.30m. He made his debut against Fulham on Feb. 23. In Jan. 2014, Stoke elected to loan Shea to English Football League Championship side Barnsley before being loaned once again out to Championship side Birmingham City in September to December of that year.
He was also selected by McDonough to play at Orlando City for its 2015 MLS inaugural campaign. The defender/midfielder played 46 league matches between the 2015 and 2016 seasons before being traded to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC as a Designated Player in 2017. (Vancouver eventually bought that contract down, freeing up the DP slot Shea had filled.)
In fact, some of Shea’s best MLS moments came with Vancouver. He was a key player during Vancouver’s 2017 CONCACAF Champions League campaign, helping the Whitecaps reach the semi-finals before losing to Tigres of Liga MX. Shea scored a crucial early goal in the second leg of that tie, but injured his knee a few minutes later. He registered 56 appearances over two seasons in Vancouver, before being acquired on a free transfer signed by Atlanta United on December 30, 2018, in advance of the 2019 season. Shea appeared in three matches in Atlanta’s U.S. Open Cup-championship run, as well as 19 regular season games, before suffering a season-ending right knee injury in a match against Seattle on July 14, 2019. He had surgery and is said to be fully-recovered and ready to play.
His MLS career has had ups and downs, but Shea is looking forward to playing again. “I have a lot of unfinished business,” he posted on his twitter account.
Shea has dual-citizenship with the U.S. and Norway, and is represented by Wasserman, the agency where McDonough once worked. Shea was represented back then by McDonough and the two stayed in contact over the years.