Shea signs with MLS expansion club Orlando City from Stoke

The 24-year-old midfielder failed to earn playing time during his stay with Premier League side Stoke City.

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The midfielder will be looking to jump-start his career after struggling for minutes in England.

Major League Soccer expansion side Orlando City announced Friday the signing of midfielder Brek Shea, bringing an end to the U.S. international’s two-year stint abroad.

Shea moves to the Florida club to join a midfield that already features Kaka and Amobi Okugo along with Darwin Ceren and Kevin Molino, who played with the team at the USL Pro level.

"I’m excited," Shea said Friday at his introductory news conference. "I wish the season started next week. I think we’ll surprise people."

The 24-year-old midfielder was a fast-rising star in MLS with FC Dallas, making the cut as a MVP finalist in 2011 and helping the team to the MLS Cup final the year before in his first season as a regular.

Shea left for Premier League side Stoke City in January 2013 but wasn’t able to catch on with the Potters, playing only three league matches after moving across the Atlantic. He played 14 games during loan stints with second-tier clubs Barnsley and Birmingham City but was not able to make the impact he, and Stoke, would have hoped.

The winger trained with Orlando City, a club with close ties to Stoke thanks to owner Phil Rawlins, during the summer and impressed former Stoke midfielder and current Orlando coach Adrian Heath.

Shea was regularly called to the U.S. national team by Jurgen Klinsmann before his minutes dipped on the club level. He played 27 minutes for the Stars and Stripes in both a March friendly against Ukraine and a September game against the Czech Republic.

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