Two years ago, Tim Ream was a little-known rookie and second-round MLS Draft pick who wasn't expected to be a major factor for the New York Red Bulls. A year later, Ream was coming off a dream rookie season that earned him a US national team call-up and talk that European clubs were beginning to take notice.
Now, two years later, and after a roller coaster 2011 that saw him endure his share of rough moments, Ream is set to join Bolton on a $3 million transfer after securing his UK work permit on appeal.
The 24-year-old defender had been the subject of considerable transfer speculation since last summer, in the midst of a run of up and down play that saw him commit blunders for both the United States and Red Bulls. Mistakes he made that led to opposition goals didn't cool off interest in him from clubs, who were clearly enamored with his excellent technical ability and superior passing skills as a left-footed center back.
English club Arsenal took notice, scouting Ream closely for...