GLASGOW, Scotland – Still very much a part of the US national team picture, Brek Shea is open to the idea of going on loan in an effort to boost his World Cup chances as his struggles to make an impact at Stoke City continue.
The former FC Dallas player was introduced in the second half of the US national team’s 0-0 draw with Scotland by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, giving the visitors an injection of pace on the left wing as they hunted a late winner.
But since moving to the English Premier League in January, Shea has struggled to make his mark, appearing for Stoke just twice this season.
“It’s been a frustrating season so far, picking up an injury in the last game of preseason,” Shea told reporters at Hampden Park. “Since then I haven’t really had a chance to get games, and hopefully I can force my way into that team. I feel I definitely have something to contribute.”
Shea wouldn’t be drawn on his exact plans in the build-up to the World Cup but admitted he needs to start playing regularly if he is to make the 23-man roster going to Brazil next summer.
“I need to make something happen fast,” he added. “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.
“I was told I was going [on loan], and then the team started doing well so I stuck around. We’ll see what happens, but hopefully this game with the US will help me show what I can do and freshen me up to go back to Stoke. I’ve been told some places, but there’s been nothing concrete.”
Klinsmann praised Shea’s performance off the bench, pinpointing the “energy” he brought to the team. And Shea is well aware of how he needs to grab every chance he gets with the national team.
“It’s been off and on for a while now, struggling with injuries and making the switch to England,” Shea said. “I want to be in the national team and make the most of my opportunities, and I felt I did well tonight.”
The USMNT coach also reiterated the importance of Shea forcing his way into the Stoke team, commenting: “We respect whatever happens there. We hope he fights at Stoke, kicks somebody out, gets in the lineup.”