Brek Shea's career in the English Premier League is just beginning, but at least his whirlwind week in the eye of the transfer window storm is finally over.
With terms agreed to and a medical passed, Shea cleared the final hurdle before the close of the window by getting his work permit approved for his transfer from FC Dallas to Stoke City, and the two teams officially announced the move on Thursday.
“It’s been up and down, trying to figure out what’s going on, but I’m here now and ready to go," Shea told StokeCityFC.com "It’s one of the best leagues in the world, and I’m excited to be here and hopefully I can contribute.”
And though Shea is looking forward to taking the next step in his career, he will be sorely missed at Dallas, where he notched 19 goals and 14 assists over five seasons and nearly 100 games with the club.
“This is one of those bittersweet situations,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said in a statement. “We are very excited for Brek to take this important step in his career, but we’re also going to miss him here. This will be a good, fresh challenge for Brek, and we believe he is well-prepared and ready to make an impact for Stoke.”
On Wednesday, Stoke City manager Tony Pulis hinted the transfer – rumored to be in the region of $4 million – was close to being completed after the deal appeared to be dead in the water earlier in the week.
“It’s fantastic news that we have been able to push through the deal,” Stoke City manager Tony Pulis told StokeCityFC.com. “Brek is a very, very exciting player, and one who we firmly believe could go on to become an outstanding player for this Football Club.
The 23-year-old flew to England on Monday to expedite the process before passing a medical on Wednesday, paving the way for the completion of the move ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline. Shea joins former MLSer and fellow US national team player Geoff Cameron at the Stoke, who currently sit in 10th place through 24 games.
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
In five MLS seasons with Dallas, Shea scored 19 goals and passed out 14 assists, logging a career year in 2011 when he notched 11 goals and four assists and finished third in the race for MLS MVP.