Jurgen Klinsmann pleased with ex-Stoke misfit Brek Shea's position switch

Brek Shea

The USA boss has certainly liked what he's seen from the new Orlando City man since his move to left-back.

US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has been singing the praises of Orlando City SC’s Brek Shea in an interview with US Soccer, hailing the 25-year-old's recent switch to left-back ahead of upcoming friendlies against Switzerland and Denmark.

Shea has long-been a favourite of Klinsmann’s since the German’s appointment in the summer of 2011 but the former FC Dallas star’s struggles to earn first-team minutes following his move to Stoke City in 2013 saw him become a peripheral figure in the US setup over the past 18 months.

After making just five senior appearances for the Potters, the 29-times capped Texan opted to return to MLS in December to join expansion side Orlando for their inaugural top-flight campaign, in the hopes of revitalising his still-promising career.

Having settled in a more advanced role in recent seasons, manager Adrian Heath he has since moved him back into defence, where he spent some time during the initial stages of his career, and the initial results of the experiment have been encouraging.

In addition, the versatile wide man also started at left-back for Klinsmann in the winter training camp friendlies against Chile and Panama and his international boss believes it could well be his long-term position.

“Brek Shea has the potential to become a very, very strong left-back,” he said. “He’s obviously a guy that always wants to go forward. He can score goals. He can create goals. If he learns the defending side of the game – being very physical, very focused, being connected to his center back and holding a line, getting all the tactical elements for what it takes to be a good defender – it adds that card into his portfolio.

"The coach from Orlando can choose where to play him, we can choose where to play him; it’s just great to see,” he added. “We started that process in the January camp, and Orlando took it over. We stay in touch with each other. It can only get better.”

Beginning his professional career with Dallas after being drafted second overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Shea scored 19 goals in 112 appearances during his five seasons at the club, finishing as a finalist for the MVP award in 2011, while also make his US debut in 2010.

His ill-fated stint at the Britannia has damaged his reputation somewhat but there’s little doubt that he has the potential to develop into a US regular, whether that’s at left-back or another position.

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