There might be a twist to this Thursday night’s meeting between the New York Red Bulls and the Vancouver Whitecaps in the second leg of the quarterfinal round of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. And that twist just so happens to be Brek Shea, an exciting attacking player who was on the move this weekend in a trade and who figures to start against the Red Bulls in the tournament.
Vancouver acquired Shea this past Saturday, sending forward Giles Barnes to Orlando City in exchange for the United States international. Shea brings versatility to Vancouver, capable of playing outside back, on the wing or even centrally in the midfield. He also has strong experience from his time overseas with Stoke City where he was twice loaned out as well as some extensive runs with the national team.
All indications point to him being available and ready to play in the second leg of the Champions League after the two teams drew 1-1 at Red Bull Arena to kickstart their quarterfinal series. It is a move that head coach Jesse Marsch thinks made sense for his opponent on Thursday night in Vancouver.
“When I saw they made the trade for Brek Shea, I thought it made sense. I think Brek Shea is a good player, a guy who is going to help them. I’d expect him to play on the left wing because they have Jordan Harvey who is going to be a very steady left back for them,” Marsch said on Monday.
“It throws a little bit of a wrench in the preparation because we don’t really know what it’s going to look like. But we know Brek Shea well enough to include in our scouting plan.”
Shea, 26-years old, ironically got his first international appearance with the United States when Marsch was an assistant with the national team under then head coach Bob Bradley. He currently has 34 international appearances.