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Tim Ream Is Named Bolton's Player of the Year

The former New York Red Bull had to fight his way into the Bolton starting lineup, and his determination has officially paid off. Ream, 26, has earned player of the year honors and his stock is on the rise.
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
April 29, 2014
4:41 PM
TIM REAM MADE THE MOVE from Major League Soccer to Europe in January 2012, and it was anything but a smooth ride.

The 26-year-old signed on with a club, Bolton Wanderers, that was playing in the English Premiership, but four months after he arrived the club was relegated to the English Championship. Worse, when the following season began, Ream found himself planted on the bench in the second tier of English soccer.

But the St. Louis native has made huge strides over the past six-to-eight months and today was named Bolton’s Player of the Year by the club's official supporters association.

Ream's renaissance in the English Championship is a prime example why it is never wise to pass judgment on player based on a single season. During the 2012-13 season Ream struggled to earn minutes but decided to fight through the adversity and keep going. Ream eventually began to make his way back onto the field for Bolton during the 2013-14 campaign. At first he was filling in for injured players but eventually his solid play made it impossible for head coach Dougie Freedman to leave the American out of the starting eleven.

Ream won the Player of the Year award because of his best and most valuable trait: his versatility. Normally a central defender known for his slick passing, Ream also played central midfield, right back, and mostly left back in the season’s final months. His ability to move from position to position and his seamless transition around the field allowed Freedman to have options in numerous positions.

Ream enjoyed a big year off the field too, becoming a father for the first time in March. It was also due to the birth of his child that Ream withdrew from the U.S. national team’s game against Ukraine in what could have been his first cap since 2011.

With the Championship season winding down, Ream's attention will now shift to the U.S. national team’s May camp, where Jurgen Klinsmann will name his provisional roster—up to 30 players—before trimming that group down to 23 for the World Cup. Ream is on the bubble in terms of the provisional roster, but his versatility could be an attractive option to Klinsmann who has questions at multiple positions.

Either way, Ream’s career is on the way up and he will likely be the subject of transfer rumors as the summer transfer window approaches.

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