Brek Shea's long-rumored move to Stoke City is finally official after the American was granted a work permit on appeal. Reports hinted that MLS and FC Dallas would receive $4 million for Shea, who has signed a 4.5 year deal with the Potters.
Shea spent Thursday in Stoke, where he trained with his new club before waiting on the result of his appeal. The American could not be granted a work permit initially because he had not appeared in 75% of the United States' matches, but Stoke could have argued any number of things, from injury keeping Shea from the necessary number of international appearances to his status as one of the Americans' brightest young players. Whatever they argued, it was successful.
It is unclear where Shea will play for Stoke. Normally a left winger, Shea would likely find himself stuck behind Matthew Etherington if he remained at the position. He could still be used as a substitute or change of pace player, seeing as he offers the kind of dynamism and skill on the ball often absent from Stoke's play, but he could also play at left back. Andy Wilkinson has been shaky at best there, giving Shea the chance to make a position change and claim a starting spot.