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Brek Shea not named to Stoke City’s 18-man roster for a League Cup match

Dec 18, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT

Juergen Klinsmann, Aron Johannsson, Brek Shea

Brek Shea’s move to Stoke City, coming up on the year anniversary of that fateful choice, just keeps looking worse and worse.

And that’s saying something, because it never looked good.

Shea has played in one Premier League match for Stoke this year, helping to mop up the mess for Mark Hughes’ side in a 4-0 loss to Everton. Clearly, one appearance in a lost cause is not much to hang your hat one.

Here comes the “worse:”

Today, Hughes declined to name Shea for the 18 in a League Cup quarterfinal date Wednesday against Manchester United.

On the one hand, Stoke is not one of the Premier League favorites; the usual heavyweights are the teams that seriously dip into the squad for fixtures in the League Cup, the third- or fourth-ranked competition in terms of priorities for England clubs.

Still, teams from the middle of the pack or the lower end do use League Cup matches to grant minutes to reserves. So, what does this say about Shea’s place at the Britannia?

(MORE: Brek Shea MUST move in the January window)

United States national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann has been patient with Shea, although it a patience borne of necessity. Fact is, Shea keeps getting opportunities with the national team only because of a serious lack  of wingers in the pool.

But the U.S. manager’s patience has a limit. We’ve said it before, but it deserves to be said again: Shea must move in the January window, on loan or outright. Otherwise, his chances of improving and, more immediately, landing on the 23-man World Cup roster are disappearing in front of us.

  1. dfstell - Dec 18, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    I’d be more worried if he doesn’t get into the 18 for this weekend’s game. Stoke is in that mid-table position where they won’t be in a relegation battle and they won’t challenge for a Top 5 spot either. So, they might as well play something close to their A-Team today and then play a B-Team this weekend.

    But, I’d much rather see him move somewhere he can get some time. I just don’t think he is an EPL-quality player. He’s not really technical enough. He’d probably be a lot better in the Championship where the fullbacks aren’t as fast….of course…..if he’s just running past fullbacks then he isn’t really progressing as a player.

    • konmtu - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:08 AM

      There’s still value in just playing. It’s got to be hard to progress as a player when you don’t get to do things at game speed. True he could possibly outclass players in the Championship, but if he does well there, it could lead to a move elsewhere. Or Stoke could see the error of their ways in not playing him. Some guys just don’t practice well.

      • dfstell - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        Oh, you’re absolutely right. I’d much rather he was playing.

        I’m kinda fatalistic about these guys improving. I kinda figure that the ones who are destined for USMNT stardom will force their way to the front. If he ISN’T forcing his way onto the Stoke squad, then he probably wasn’t going to be a world-beater for the USMNT. So, with that mindset, he might as well go play at a lower level and just do what he does and have fun and get paid.

  2. stevenclements513 - Dec 19, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    The best case scenario for Shea is a move to a top-half Championship side like Leicester City or Derby County. He can then fight for a place, have a better chance of actually getting a place, and once he does, he can play for a winning side that would be a major boost to his confidence. If Shea can get his confidence back he can let his skill and ability take over and have a decent chance of making the plane to Brazil this summer.

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