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It’s official: Brek Shea joins Stoke City

Jan 31, 2013, 1:19 PM EST

It took too long — far too long, with too many back and forths for us to handle — but young American potential star Brek Shea is off to the English Premier League. He will join Geoff Cameron at Stoke City after he passed his physical and earned a work permit.

The transfer fee is around $4 million.

It’s a good move for the 23-year-old who had a superb 2011 but struggled last season for FC Dallas. He gets a much-needed change of scenery and the Potters get some help they desperately need on the wing. Under the right tutelage and with a little patience, Shea is the type of player — big, strong, fast, physical, and skilled — who could thrive for a long time in the EPL.

The move could also help him work his way back into a starting role with the United States national team. Although Shea made substitute appearances in both matches against Jamaica in September, he last figured in the Starting XI way back in February 2012. If he can battle his way into regular playing time with Stoke, he will help his case with Jurgen Klinsmann significantly.

Of course, there’s the possibility that the move goes horribly wrong, that Shea can’t find his form and languishes on the bench. But he had reached his limit in MLS and needed a move. This one has the potential to turn out very well.

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