If Brek Shea makes it to the 2014 World Cup, he'll likely have the last-place team in the English second division to thank.
ESPN's Marc Stein on Tuesday reported that the USMNT winger is "close to a loan move from Stoke City to Barnsley." If the loan materializes, the former FC Dallas star would go from playing for the 12th-place team in the English Premier League to the bottom side in the English Championship.
Breaking footy news: I'm told USMNT winger Brek Shea very close to loan move from Stoke City to Barnsley to get gametime he needs in WC year— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 31, 2013
The 23-year-old Shea, who has had to battle foot and knee injuries while in England, has made a total of five appearances for the Potters (1 start) since moving to Stoke City at the start of 2013. This season under new manager Mark Hughes, Shea has managed a single appearance in English Premier League action, logging 36 minutes in a Nov. 30 loss to Everton at Goodison Park.
With paltry playing time at Stoke, Shea has already entertained the idea of a loan a few weeks ago and rumors of a loan have been circulating since October.
“I need to make something happen fast,” Shea said after appearing for the USMNT in a November friendly against Scotland. “Obviously, I can’t keep sitting around and not play. So whether it’s with Stoke or on loan somewhere, I need to play and make the most of the time between now and the World Cup."
In 2013 Shea proved he could be effective as a sparkplug off the bench for Jurgen Klinsmann's US side, scoring the game-winning goal in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Panama. But whether he can play his way onto the roster heading to Brazil this summer will be another story.
What do you think of a potential move for Shea to Barnsley? Will it help his chances for Brazil? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.