Tahiti or Bolton? Defender Tim Ream, married all of one day, had to make that choice earlier this month when Coach Owen Coyle called about a possible transfer from the Red Bulls to the Premier League club. His wife agreed, reluctantly, to postpone island sun for wintry English gloom.
“I can’t really repeat what she said,” Ream said. “But she and I have talked and as long as we’re together in whatever we do I think both of us will be happy. She wants the best for me and I just want her to be happy. If she says tomorrow that she wants something, then I guess I’ll have to give it to her.”
For a fee reported to be in the range of $3 million, the transfer was consummated when the Home Office granted Ream, who failed to meet the benchmark of competitive caps, a work permit on appeal. Coyle says the club became interested in Ream last summer during Bolton's brief visit to North America. He trained with Bolton and West Bromwich Albion before Christmas and following that stint the club initiated transfer discussions. Last week Bolton completed the sale of defender Gary Cahill to Chelsea, and Ream will be given a chance at replacing him straightaway.
“He is a U.S. international -- a player that year-on-year has progressed and got better, and he will continue to do that,” Coyle said. “Tim is everything that we want in the players we are bringing to the club when we spend in the transfer market. He is young, has a tremendous attitude and a winning mentality."