The Vancouver Whitecaps have signed Brek Shea from Orlando City SC, in exchange for Giles Barnes. The signing is a late change to the Whitecaps’ roster, as the team prepares for the home leg of the CONCACAF Champions League this Thursday, and their opening MLS match on Sunday.
Giles Barnes was signed from Houston Dynamo last July. He made 11 appearances for the Whitecaps, scoring only two goals. Those two goals came in the last game of the match against the Portland Timbers, and secured the Whitecaps the Cascadia Cup. Rumours circulated that the Whitecaps tried to offload Barnes, and his DP salary, this summer on a free transfer, but that never panned out.
Brek Shea will join the Whitecaps after a dismal two seasons in with Orlando. The 26-year-old American international showed early promise with a 4 year stint in Dallas. He scored 19 goals during that time, and eventually earned himself a move to Stoke City. After not being able to break into the team, and after a couple short loans to lower league teams, he was back in the MLS.
It’s unknown exactly where Shea will fit into this Whitecaps team. He’s primarily a left midfielder, but has played a wide variety of roles. What the Whitecaps need most right now is a secondary striker to play alongside Fredy Montero. With Manneh and Techera taking up spots on the left side, and Bolaños and Davies on the right, Carl Robinson might look to convert Shea to a more central position. This would make the most sense, especially with Reyna injured until at least the summer.
With a new DP spot open, it will be interesting to see if the Whitecaps will fill it before the start of the new season, or if they’ll wait until the summer transfer window. Rumours are still circulating that it will be Atiba Hutchinson coming from Turkey, which is almost exactly what the Whitecaps need. Time will tell if that comes true, but be sure to check OffSide.co.uk for all of your Whitecaps news, MLS news, and news from around the football world.