The Vancouver Whitecaps have used the week between the first and second legs of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with the New York Red Bulls to shuffle their roster. Brek Shea has been brought to Vancouver from Orlando City, with forward Giles Barnes being sent the other way in exchange.
In his comments on the move, per the club's website, Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson suggested Shea might have a role to play in his team's forthcoming CCL game against RBNY:
Brek is a tall, physical, skilled player and will bring a different dimension to our attack. Brek will join the group in coming days and we anticipate he will be available for selection as early as this Thursday's Champions League match against New York.
Shea won't have a lot of time to get to know his new teammates before Vancouver kicks off against the Red Bulls on March 2.
Though currently out of favor with the US Men's National Team, Shea has more than 30 caps for his country. The second overall pick of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, he was a high-volume goal scorer during his time with the US U-17 and U-20 teams. He is still good for the occasional goal, but he is more provider than finisher these days.
A regular if not exceptional presence for Orlando since returning to MLS after a couple of years at Stoke City in England, Shea might be reasonably described as not having yet fulfilled his potential. His performances for FC Dallas - the team that drafted him to MLS - won him his transfer to a club in England's Premier League, but the move abroad didn't work out and he hasn't achieved the same profile since returning to America.
A change of scenery might do him good. At his best, Shea is a versatile and mobile presence, who makes good use of his size (he is listed as 6' 3") on the ball. He can contribute in almost any area of the field, though a left-sided wide position is the most obvious place for him to play.
Whether he can be anywhere close to his best for his new team in time for Vancouver's CCL date with RBNY is another question. He doesn't have a lot of time to prepare with his new club and, though he should be fit, he is arriving at the Whitecaps just out of Orlando's preseason, without any competitive games under his belt yet this year.