Analyzing the Vancouver Whitecaps Acquisition of Brek Shea

On Saturday, the Vancouver Whitecaps dropped a bombshell eight days before their 2017 MLS season starts by acquiring US international Brek Shea from Orlando City SC. In exchange, they gave up frustrated utility man Giles Barnes. It’s never settling to the stomach to see your favourite club (if you’re an Orlando or Vancouver supporter) make a serious move this close to the season. The Whitecaps do have a history of procrastinating player transactions. For example, three days before the season in 2014, Pedro Morales signed with Vancouver. You can add this Brek Shea trade to the list of those late off season moves by the ‘Caps.

Analyzing the Vancouver Whitecaps Acquisition of Brek Shea


Let’s be real. Giles Barnes was looking for a move away from the Whitecaps ever since he came to Vancouver in August, 2016. He did not fit into this team and was a square peg in a round hole. Houston fans loved Barnes for his fantastic free kicks and leadership capabilities. One advantage of this trade is moving an unhappy player, in an otherwise happy Vancouver team. They gain a taller player in Shea, who can play different positions and had a cup of coffee with the US National Team. Shea made over 95 appearances with FC Dallas between 2008 and 2012, scoring 19 goals. He then moved to Stoke City of the Premier League, only making three appearances while going out on loan two separate times to lower league sides. Two unfruitful years later in 2015, he signed with expansion Orlando City, appearing in 46 games and scoring three goals.


Shea is a left footed player, and primarily plays at left midfield; a place where the Whitecaps are very deep. They have the likes of Kekuta Manneh, Christian Techera, and Alphonso Davies in that position. This move most likely means he will play at forward, or maybe a bit of left back. Also, the man they call ‘Brek’ is bad tempered. In fact, last year he should have gotten sent off against the Portland Timbers for a horror tackle.


The Caps get an MLS veteran who provides depth and can play everywhere on the left side of the field. Shea also has big game experience, something the Whitecaps sorely lack. This Vancouver team isn’t done signing players. Just listen to head coach Carl Robinson talk in a press conference; you will get the idea.


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