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Finally, a Brek Shea sighting at Stoke City, and a Steve Cherundolo sighting at Hannover

Everton v Stoke City - Premier League

during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Stoke City at Goodison Park on November 30, 2013 in Liverpool, England.

Clive Brunskill

Is there hope for Brek Shea around the Britannia, after all?

The young American winger, who is not playing for Stoke but has managed to hang around the U.S. World Cup roster conversation because the United States player pool is so pitifully depleted in the flank areas, finally got on the field for Stoke City in a league match.

Praise be.

Shea came in for the final 31 minutes Saturday against Everton. His entrance was hardly the best of circumstances, part of double switch of desperation in the 59th minute after the Potters had fallen behind 3-0 to Everton. (The thrashing was completed later, as Stoke City finished on the wrong end of a 4-0 afternoon.)

Still, the depressing day for his club was something of a high water mark for Shea; those were his first minutes in a league match for Stoke this year, which means it was the winger’s first league minutes under first-year manager Mark Hughes. Previously, Shea has emerged from his virtual witness protection status only long enough for a short Capital One Cup cameo.

Shea wasn’t the only U.S. World Cup wannbe to make his season debut over the weekend. Steve Cherundolo made a late, late appearance off the bench for Hannover, as he gets closer to competing for his old spot at right back for the Bundesliga club.

Cherundolo remains a big part of the U.S. conversation at right back; Brad Evans, Michael Parkhurst, Geoff Cameron and perhaps Fabian Johnson, all with good and bad points at the potential right back answer, remain in contention for the position.

Cherundolo entered in the 90th minute of Hannover’s 2-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.