Count Brek Shea among the rising number of star players bolting Major League Soccer this offseason.
Shea was granted a United Kingdom work permit, according to Stoke City's official Twitter feed, which was the last remaining hurdle in completing his transfer from FC Dallas to Stoke City.
Shea's U.S.-based representative, Richard Motzkin, confirmed on Twitter that the midfielder has finalized his move ahead of Thursday's transfer deadline. Various reports suggest that Shea, who has been training with Stoke this week, drew a transfer fee in the $3 to $4 million range.
Shea spent five years in MLS, emerging as a breakout player in 2010 with five goals and four assists and heightening his status in 2011 with a career-best 11 goals and four assists.
The College Station, Texas, native became a frequent call-up under Jurgen Klinsmann in his first year in charge but has not been as much of a factor in recent months. A combination of a dip in form and injuries limited Shea's participation with the national team, though he will be a candidate to be called in for upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
At Stoke, the 6-foot-3 Shea will join U.S. international Geoff Cameron. American Maurice Edu is also employed by the Potters, but he is on loan with Turkish side Bursaspor for the remainder of the season.
Shea becomes the latest MLS talent to bolt the league. Andy Najar was transferred from D.C. United to Belgian champion Anderlecht, and Sporting Kansas City forward Kei Kamara was loaned to Premier League side Norwich City until the beginning of May on Wednesday.
The likes of David Beckham (Paris St.-Germain), Roger Espinoza (Wigan Athletic) and Juan Pablo Angel (Atletico Nacional) left on free transfers, while Seattle Sounders forward Fredy Montero (Millionarios) and Philadephia Union center back Carlos Valdes (Independiente Santa Fe) have been loaned for the entire year.
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