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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.


  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.


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