When the final day of the English Premier League season kicks off on Sunday, no American player will be playing in a more important match than Tim Ream.
The former New York Red Bulls centerback and U.S. national team defender is about to cap a strong first half season in England by playing in a match that will determine whether his club, Bolton, stays in the Premier League or is relegated to the League Championship.
The Trotters need to win, and have Queens Park Rangers lose to title favorites Manchester City, to avoid relegation. It is a scenario that has a good chance of playing out, but Ream and Bolton must still do the work of winning on the road at Stoke City.
Ream discusses what's on the line, as well as discussing his 2011 struggles and what it has been like playing in one of the world's top leagues, in my new Fox Soccer feature on Ream.
One of the topics Ream discussed with me that didn't make it into the story was comparing the quality of the Premier League to the quality in MLS.
"There are international quality players at every position on every team, whether it’s the top of the table or the bottom of the table,” Ream said of the Premier League. “There are plenty of guys in MLS that could make the jump and play here and get time here. The difference is there are four, five or six guys on each team who are that good (in MLS), where here all 11 guys are international quality."
Give my Fox Soccer story on Ream a read and let us know what you think about his first season in the Premier League. Has Ream surpassed your expectations for how he would do in England? Think Bolton will get the job done on Sunday?
Share your thoughts below.