Over 5,000 miles separate them but that didn't stop the Vancouver Whitecaps and Orlando City SC from making a trade Saturday night that sent waves through the MLS community.
Vancouver sent midfielder/forward Giles Barnes to Orlando for the versatile Brek Shea. According to Alicia Rose Del Gallo of the Orlando Sentinel, Orlando will use TAM on Barnes.
Barnes will be a TAM player for Orlando City.— Alicia Rose DelGallo (@OSAliciaD) February 26, 2017
Barnes, 28, is a Jamaican international, born in London, but has a green card and will count as a domestic player. The former Dynamo captain was traded from Houston to Vancouver in July and now gets a fresh start in Florida. Orlando recently traded Kevin Molino to Minnesota and the acquisition of Barnes will help fill that creative role.
Shea returned stateside from the English Premier League before the 2015 season and was one of Orlando's first signings as a MLS club. The Texan, who turns 27 this week, has played a number of positions with the Lions but found himself as a reserve for most of the back half of the 2016 campaign. It remains to be seen where Shea fits in with the Whitecaps as they already have a number of solid left sided players in Kekuta Manneh, Alphonso Davies, and Jordan Harvey.
With the season now less than a week away both players get a much needed change of scenery. If Vancouver boss Carl Robinson can find a place for Shea to play, and he can stay healthy, he should help the Whitecaps attack, along with fellow newcomer Fredy Montero. If Barnes can find the form that made him a fan favorite in Houston, he'll perfectly compliment Kaka and Cyle Larin in the Orlando attack.