When Tim Ream was selected in the second round of the 2010 MLS Super Draft, there was a collective “Who?” from the several hundred Red Bulls fans who traveled to Philadelphia for the event.
Now after being a finalist for the MLS Rookie of the Year award and becoming a regular with the national team, the central defender is making a move to Bolton of the English Premier League. The Red Bulls announced on Thursday that a deal for Ream has been reached, with sources telling Metro New York that the transfer fee is just less than $3 million.
“I want to thank the Red Bulls and their fans for their tremendous support over the past two years. The club gave me an unbelievable opportunity to play in Major League Soccer and I would not have been in this position without the team and league’s backing. I will always cherish my memories playing for New York,” Ream said in a statement. “This was a hard decision for me considering the fact that I enjoyed playing for the Red Bulls and was looking forward to the upcoming MLS season. However, after consulting with those closest to me, I decided that this was a once in a lifetime chance that I could not pass up.”
“I’m happy for Tim,” Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe said. “It’s quite a story. We picked Tim in the second round [then] he becomes a regular from the first day and I would say he’s been quite solid. He had a phenomenal first year [and] a quite normal second year.”
His teammates, including Norwegian international Jan Gunnar Solli, see him making a smooth transition from MLS to what is arguably the most competitive league in the world.
“For sure, he’s been playing really well. He was a part of the national team squad for the U.S. and they know what he’s capable of doing,” Solli said. “I’m sure he will have his chance and then it’s all about him using that shot well.”
Follow Red Bulls writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.