On Tuesday, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Stoke City and USMNT winger Brek Shea was going on loan to second-tier Barnsley FC for consistent playing time. Earlier this morning, it was announced Shea is on a 28-day emergency loan with the club. In his time with Stoke he hasn’t played much, and Shea needs that to change in hopes of making Jurgen Klinsmann‘s 2014 World Cup roster. This move will definitely allow Shea to play more, and he starts for the club on New Year’s Day.
In going on loan, Shea hopes to get the attention of Stoke City manager Mark Hughes while away from the club. If he can re-find his footing and play regularly for Barnsley as expected, Hughes could start including him more in Stoke’s lineup. As a result, more time playing on the pitch for Stoke will grab the attention of Klinsmann, and Shea could be included on the World Cup roster that has to be decided by May.
Shea’s return to excellence will start with Barnsley, and the 28-day loan will dictate much of his future for the national team. If Shea’s play disappoints during his time with Barnsley, he will find little time on the field with Stoke and may not get called up by Klinsmann.
Overall, Shea’s loan has little to do with Stoke on a team level. Just as Clint Dempsey‘s loan to Fulham is about finding his confidence and finding the net, the same can be said about Shea’s loan. Shea is heading to Barnsley in hope of improving himself and the chance he finds time on the field with both Stoke and USMNT.
The ball is in Shea’s court, and his play will dictate how his 2014 turns out.
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