Thursday Kickoff: West Brom eyeing Ream, Nguyen on verge of MLS and more


Photo by Bill Barrett/

The Tim Ream buzz in England continues to spread throughout the Premier League.

After reports surfaced that Arsenal had a summer bid for the New York Red Bulls centerback rejected and was scouting Ream during the MLS playoffs comes word that West Brom has invited Ream for a trial and is reportedly into offering a loan to the 24-year-old defender. 

Ream recovered from an inconsistent second season in MLS to finish strong, especially against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the playoffs, but he was passed over by U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming friendlies against France and Slovenia after being a staple of the manager's rosters since August.

Here are a few more stories to get your Thursday going:


Former Indiana University standout and United States international Lee Nguyen is reportedly in talks with MLS to sign with the league after a five-year stint abroad.

Nguyen, a 25-year-old attacking player, has enjoyed a couple of seasons in Vietnam, from where his family originates, after trying his luck in Europe for three years. 

The Texas native would reportedly join a weighted lottery as opposed to going through the allocation order, according to MLS.


Brazilians sensation Neymar is constantly the talk of the transfer market, but teams will have a harder time prying him away from Santos after the club's president announced that he signed the player to a long-term contract extension.

According to president Luiz Alvaro Ribeiro, Neymar has signed on to stay at Santos until the summer of 2014, when Brazil hosts the World Cup. It was originally thought that Neymar would stay at Santos, which has reportedly fielded big offers from the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid, through next month's FIFA Club World Cup before hitting the transfer market in the winter. The club, howevern has made it clear that it wishes to hang onto the forward, who was recently named a finalist for the Ballon d'Or.


Barcelona had a more difficult time than expected in the first leg of its Copa del Rey fourth-round fixture with third-tier L'Hospitalet, needing a long-range effort from Andres Iniesta to eke by with a 1-0 result on the road on Wednesday.

Fielding a team that included Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa and Carles Puyol (but not Lionel Messi), Barcelona settled for the modest scoreline, one that it will carry to the second leg at Camp Nou next month. Here are highlights of Iniesta's goal:


What do you make of the Ream-West Brom link? Would you want your MLS team to land Nguyen? Do you actually see Neymar staying with Santos until 2014? Surprised at Barcelona's Copa del Rey result? 

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer, MLS- New York Red Bulls. Bookmark the permalink.

75 Responses to Thursday Kickoff: West Brom eyeing Ream, Nguyen on verge of MLS and more

  1. Modibo says:

    Nguyen’s only 25? Wow. I thought he was permanently lodged in the “where are they now file.”

  2. Aaron in StL says:

    A loan wouldn’t be a bad move for Ream. If he does well maybe someone puts in a good offer next summer. It’ll be tough for West Brom to stay up this year, so maybe he can catch on elsewhere if they drop.

  3. Matt S says:

    Ream to West Brom… not really a high profile team but its somewhere he could get minutes and play some decent football. As a NYRB supporter I’d be ok with this move even though it would leave us further in trouble in the centerback position. Mendes and Keel for 2012? eeek

  4. gigi says:

    hes not a bad player and can prob start for 80 percent of the teams in mls right now.

  5. RK says:

    Barcelona will send you to L’Hospitalet.

  6. gigi says:

    If i were in reams cleats id for sure train abroad with west brom but im not sure about a loan though. Id rest up after a busy year and put my 100 percent focus on my current club and see how the season pans out then take the move.

  7. biff says:

    A story in the German press says that Ingolstadt, Edson Buddle’s team that is in last place in the Second Bundesliga, fired the coach and hired the coach and the sport director of the team in Leipzig.

    Also, Klinsmann is quoted on the Arsenal web site saying that he has invited his old coach Arsene Wenger to the team hotel in Paris for a cup of coffee and that Wenger might be in the stands for the game.

    Wenger an inspiration for former German legend

    link to

  8. euroman says:

    Shocking stuff on Ream. Amazing an EPL club would want a MLS defender who can’t defend MLS players much less the international level. He will show them in trials his true worth. Should on the first plane back very soon.

  9. Paul says:

    I wouldn’t mind a short-term Donovan-style loan for Ream. But my RBNY need him back in the spring.

  10. ryan says:

    should have invited him for a couple beers, might have got him drunk enough to sign one of our boys

  11. Alex says:

    Ive always believe Ream is better suited as a deep lying midfielder in front of the central defense to offset his defending deficiences thus having more time on the ball to exploit his strengths

  12. kevin says:

    pretty amazing that Ream is being looked at by a PL side. West Brom won’t be relegated but they are in a relegation battle. if I were Ream, I’d head to the Dutch or Belgian league.

    Hope Nguyen gets on with a nice team. He’s easily worth $100 K a season

  13. cj says:

    obvious troll is obvious

  14. Rory says:

    Did he switch his national team allegiance? I remember reading he was thinking about it.

  15. Rory says:

    I heard it was all just a dastardly German plot. Once Arsene was not looking Klinsy invaded his hotel room and Arsene immediately surrendered.

    Don’t worry, word is Arsene has already called out for English, American, and Russian coaches to come save him.

  16. Rory says:

    It’s not like West Brom is full of international calibre defenders.

  17. Shweazy says:

    Good thing these Club scouts are not as crazy as the Fans to write of Ream after a few bad games. All players have bad form from time to time. thus the term Form is temporary class is permanent. Ream will be better than Gonzalez I’m pretty sure of it. he bounced back great at the end of the season vs La and Dallas. Marquez was the weak link in the back line. Ream needs a Hard nosed defender next to him not a slowpoke like Marquez who is way past his best years.

  18. Shweazy says:

    STFU , i bet you were one of the ones who wrote off Gooch a few months ago too.

  19. Joey says:

    I agree 100%. I just dont see what the attraction is with him?

    He should make sure he has a round trip ticket before he goes lol

  20. Citronomics says:

    OK. As someone who’s really only watched Ream in a USMNT uniform (and occasionally w NYRB), he’s definitely had lapses AND I see upside with some of his abilities. So help me understand why a lower table PL team wouldn’t take a look at Ream given that Euro clubs must rate him enough to offer a trial/scout him and the fact that he may be aquired for a relatively low cost (and therefore financial risk) if he indeed (overall) had a crap season for NYRB.

    Serious question (not trying to bring out the love or hate).

  21. Berlin says:

    Why is this transfer via weighted lottery vs. allocation order? Does the league pick and choose how this is done or is there a method to the madness?

  22. Marcus says:

    Maybe because he hasn’t played for the Nats since 2007 (and only 3 times anyways), he is no longer considered a US National Team member?

    My understanding is that allocation is only for USNMT players and players returning to MLS after previously being transferred to a team abroad.

  23. Alex says:

    He can’t; he’s played in an official, FIFA sanctioned, non friendly, tournament game for the US. Copa America 2007.

  24. Marcus says:

    Granted some of it seems arbitrary, since Sammy Ochoa also went through allocation…maybe playing on the youth US teams counts as well?

  25. Alex says:

    I don’t think he’s quick enough to play midfield. Or something. There’s some reason that’s been given by people smarter than I for Ream not playing midfield. Nice name.

  26. Alex says:

    Amazing, how multiple professional coaches, who are paid to evaluate players for a living, would even LOOK at someone who the soccer divinities who grace SBI comments with their knowledgeable opinions dislike so much!

  27. g-dub says:

    Sorry Tim but I’m an American, and I prefer my Miller Light, pickup truck, and my centerbacks big and balsey. Who cares if you can pass? Our CB tradition is built on the backs of Balboa, Lalas, Pope, Gooch, DeMerit. Should we really depart from that? Good luck impressing the skinny Frenchman.

  28. patrick says:

    thats why you’re joey on SBI and not an international scout for an EPL team

  29. patrick says:

    i read somewhere he’s making a lot more than that, possibly 500K in vietnam. He’s living a rockstar life there

  30. patrick says:

    bet you love a 4-4-2 and kick and run too, huh?

  31. DanO says:

    I agree with you. Looks like classic buy low sell high to me too. What’s the downside for West Brom?

  32. Adam says:

    I don’t think Nguyen is cap tied. The US was participating in the 2007 Copa as guests and I think that means the games were counted as friendlies. So he could still switch.

  33. Judging Amy says:

    I remember hearing the Nguyen hype what seems like ages ago. Ream’s hype has been relatively recent. Amazing that Lee’s only 1 year older.

  34. g-dub says:

    I was being half sarcastic. But in all seriousness I am a bit concerned with the grand Klinsman experiment to redefine American soccer. Does he really understand American culture and values and does he respect a viable tradition built over the last several decades. A brand of football emphasizing defending, discipline, athleticism, strength and a pragmatic value on winning over style are for me consistent with a deep rooted American Value system. I worry to some degree that we’re straying from those qualities.

  35. jb says:

    Actually, he’s not cap tied. FIFA “rules” state that while the tournament is official, the US participation is not. Because the US is not in the tournament’s confederation, they technically can’t win the tournament. They are just guests who can’t get the title of best South American team.

  36. Poo says:

    how would Ream get a work permit?

  37. Gnarls says:



  38. Gnarls says:

    That’s a helluva paycheck in a communist country.

  39. Rev up those Revs says:

    Put him on the Dynamo. Houston needs to fill their Yao Ming void.

  40. TomG says:

    Are all you guys kidding me? A chance to get experience and possibly get noticed playing in the EPL and everyone is lukewarm about it? Did you see Timmy play this season? If he gets an opportunity like this after his awful season, he should row to England, drop to his knees and bed for the opportunity. The experience with the playing pace alone would be invaluable.

  41. David says:

    7 or 8 caps in the last year. If Findley can get one Ream can.

  42. KenC says:

    Does Ream even have enough starts with the USMNT to qualify for a transfer to the EPL? Or does he have a grandparent with european heritage?

  43. David says:

    I think it is good news for Ream that West Brom are interested. Hodgson has always had very organized defensive teams. While Fulham manager the defense was top 4 or 5 in the Prem in goals allowed. He almost qualified Finland for the last Euro’s in 08 based on a defensive approach. It would be good for Ream to play and learn under someone like that.

  44. hogatroge says:

    That said, how many World Cups has the good ol’ American Value system won us?

  45. Poo says:

    Findley saw the field in the WC. Ream’s most meaningful game was a 1st round of gold cup against panama.

  46. wilyboy says:

    West Brom seems like a smarter move than Arsenal for Ream. His chances of playing improve greatly, and he’d learn to play for a club which forces players to focus on defense and minimizing errors. Arsenal would be a great place for Shea to test his attacking skills, but spending a year with WB might be just the thing for Tim.

  47. Jim says:

    Socialist country, by name only though.

  48. Rory says:

    Because Chinese people and Vietamese people are basically the same, right?

  49. Rory says:

    And as usual the Russian coach will take the blunt of the assault, the British coach will say he masterminded the whole thing, and the American will show up late and declare he freed Arsene by himself. It’s just the way of the world (war).

  50. Alex says:

    Nguyen is really good. I played against him when I was 18 and my team had current MLS players on it and Nguyen was head and shoulders above the rest of the players on the field.

  51. Ben Affleck says:

    Ream took a big step back this year it’s pretty shocking how many people still rate him so highly.

    Moving to the EPL would be a terrible idea… long period of warming the bench for a 24 year old suffering from a year-long decline in form.

    He needs to stay in MLS 1 more year and get his career back on track before moving abroad.

  52. Aguinaga says:

    Dude, don’t be so afraid of change. If you’re Klinnsman, you have the courage to not necessarily change the approach completely, but definitely alter enough or enhance it when it’s merited.

    Yank soccer has been plenty brawn, bite, size, guts and glory. Relatively short on vision, technique, and skill.

    As fans, we should want a WINNING team first and foremost. Our style matters little to me comparitively. IF we had some kind of winning tradition, maybe? Reality is we really don’t have much of a winning tradition or an established style to speak of. Let’s be honest in our self analysis. In the last 20 years, we’ve done better slowly, and we’ve gotten ourselves the farthest we’ve ever been in a World Cup. But we still have so far to go to reach the likes of even an England or an Uruguay. Let alone a Spain or Brazil. Do you really think we’ll get there by continuing on the typical American punt & chase, place our biggest but not necessarily our best bodies in front of goal and then pray we can score on the counter?

    If not, then why be so afraid to change the way things are done, even if it bucks precedent?

    Germany has a much more illustrious soccer history and established “brand of football” than we do. But tradition, comfort level, or adversity to change weren’t obstacles for him when he took over there, and he was successful. Tell me, why should they be here? Because we’re considered a world class opponent?

  53. Alex says:

    Quick enough? I Disagree..Players like riqeuelme jose torres and on and on (by no means comparing him to them) are not quick but postition themselves and are comfortable on the ball. Also Ream’s strength is that he can thread passes in between opposing midfielders and their defense. Ream’s weakeness is from set pieces and that hes very suspect to balls crossed in the air along with lack of strength from either side. Great name as well

  54. Cuppy says:

    Can they just sign him already? Ream blows

  55. Max says:


  56. Javier says:

    To be the traffic cone that he was in 2011???

  57. Pete says:

    About time we give him a look….Kid can play

  58. David says:

    I think what counts it the percentage of games you played in not how high profile they are but I may be wrong. But I assume he has played in more than 50% of the games in the last year and a half.

  59. john.q says:

    that racist statement alone makes me hope the Revs are cursed to play in Gillette forever.

  60. Neruda says:

    If PL clubs were looking at Ream during the playoffs they saw a really great performance. Against LA he was the best defender for NY and he help shut down Dallas. If possession style play is all the rage it makes sense to get a Ream and see if you can tweak his faults and mental lapses. He couldn’t be that much worse than what west brom already has.

  61. FYI says:

    Clearly not as Chinese feel they are vastly superior to Koreans, Vietnamese and, even more so, Philippinos. And, of course, the Japenes feel they are above the Chinese.

    Americans who cry racism forget these prejudices exists everywhere and are usually produced by centuries of experience, whether accurately distilled or not.

  62. DC Josh says:

    To think Lee Nguyen was the Gatorade player of the year. Where is he now?

    Ream going overseas next year could be the worst move of his career, just like Freddy, Eddie Johnson, Brad Guzan, and the other American exports who ended up buried in the trenches of European soccer. He needs another full year in MLS before he is ready for the grind overseas. A trial/training stint would be great for him and other young American MLSers though.

  63. Poo says:

    You are correct. you have to hit 75% of the games, or apply versus appeal. He is nowhere near 75% and his appeal would be difficult, because he hasnt played in meaningful games.

  64. Alex says:

    Wow, interesting! Thank you for that, I honestly didn’t know.

  65. g-dub says:

    I’m not afraid of some change. I just want to have a little more self esteem about our accomplishments and what our style is (was?) evolving into. No we haven’t won a World Cup (neither have the Dutch) but we’ve dominated one of the FIFA regions and become a respected opponent for any team on the globe to play. At the end of the Bob era we’d hit rough patch and lost to a good Mexico team, but should this have really been the trigger for wholly redifining a national style of soccer?

    I believe Klinsman’s grand philosophy is risky and a little bit of hubris, but I hope it works like everybody. To me, being known as ‘difficult to play against’ is positive. It indicted discipline, ruggedness, straight-forward determination, finding a way to win, athleticism and drive: reflective of American values. Is Klinsman really the man to totally reimagine what we were organically maturing into as a soccer nation? All I’m saying is there should be a certain balance between a developing tradition and the future.

  66. Alex says:

    Hey dude, I’m 100% chinese, and I laughed. It was a good humored joke no need to cry racism bout it.

  67. Alex says:

    Are you Chinese? Or Japanese?

  68. Alex says:

    He learned from the orangist traffic cone there is, Marquez.

  69. Alex says:

    Too many Alex’s. And at least from an USMNT standpoint, his unique skillset is revolutionary for the LCB, but if he were to play CDM he’d be buried in the depth chart.

  70. beachbum says:

    hahaha, that was funny.

    hope Ream gets the call and does well. there is a reason the term sophomore slump exists, we’ll see soon enough if he’s turned that corner. played well vs. the Galaxy in defeat, best performaces I’d seen from him this year, a good sign

  71. beachbum says:

    gdub, couldn’t agree with you more. well said.

  72. DeLarge says:

    I’m Chinese too — and even though Nguyen is not — I’m following the guy closely because we need some more Asian representation in MLS! Can’t hurt, right?

  73. Dennis says:

    The players who went from MLS to decent european teams and had faiirly earky success include: McBride, Dempsey, Bocanegra, Bradley, Howard, Beasley, Holden (sort of), Goodson…? they were all established MLS players with more than a season of outstanding MLS play (except for Bradley). Younger, less established MLS players have had a much more mixed time: (Adu, Altidore, Johnson..) as have players who skipped MLS and went abroad as their first professional gig (Onyewu,Feilhaber, Spector, Davies,…) all took some time to mature as might be suspected A lot of the ‘did not dress’ or ‘did not play” in the weekly Yanks abroad list includes players who either did not do well in MLS for more than a season or who did not play in MLS. I would argue that experience in the MLS early in a player’s career might be preferable to getting lost in europe. Guys like Brad Davis who have been successful for multiple years would likely improve by a move to a better league, but players who can’t show they are the best in MLS consistently, might be better served by waiting a year or so to avoid getting in over their heads and discouraged at how far they have yet to go on a consistent basis.

  74. vinceN says:

    Nguyen’s coming back because he feels with the style that Klinsi is trying to implement, he would stand a better chance of making a serious run for a spot on the Nats…it’s about time, been waiting for him to come back instead of playing in NCAA level in Vietnam…good luck Nguyen, I’ll be rooting for u bro