SANFORD, Fla. – It’s no secret that former FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea has been in Florida training with the USL PRO’s Orlando City Soccer Club since late last week.
And that the 24-year old midfielder was also in attendance Saturday when the Lions improved to 9-0-3 on the season in a 2-0 win over Charleston.
What seems to be a mystery, though, is what Shea thinks of his brief stay in the Sunshine State following an underwhelming experience in his first stint with English Premier League’s Stoke City and second-division Barnsley FC.
Shea has declined requests to speak to the media in Orlando, leaving only speculation when it comes to his interest in making a return to MLS.
Should Shea have an eye on returning stateside, count Orlando City coach Adrian Heath as someone who’d be interested in his services when the club makes its move to MLS next year.
“I can’t hide the fact that I’ve enjoyed working with him and seeing him close up,” Heath said following a training session Tuesday at Seminole Soccer Complex. “You can look at players from afar but you really only get to know what they’re like when you see them this close up.
"The one thing that’s very apparent is the size and the power and the pace… It gives us an idea of what some of the players are like at the next level.”
Orlando City have been vague in addressing rumors regarding potential big-name signees for 2015, but it’s clear any conversations being had behind closed doors are intended to build strong relationships between the club and prospects down the road.
“Obviously, the fact that Brek is playing in the Premier League, financially he’s earning a lot of money,” Heath said. “But I would be lying if I didn’t think it gives us a great opportunity at looking at a player that over the next few years might want to come back to MLS. The fact that we have a relation with him would stand us in good stead down the road if it did get to that stage.”
Both Heath and Orlando City president Phil Rawlins have a long history with Stoke City, and Shea’s former agent, Paul McDonough, is the club’s general manger.
Heath said Shea approached the club about the training sessions following the Premier League season – Shea has also worked out with his former club in Dallas – and that he’s fit right in with the Lions.
“The good thing is that Brek is a great guy,” Heath said. “You would think he’s been here two years, not two or three days. He’s gone straight into the group and everything has been going fine.”