UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Tim Ream's transfer to Premier League side Bolton Wanderers was made official on Thursday morning. And while some observers might have concerns about whether the low-key kid from St. Louis can make it in the world's highest-profile league, his now-former New York Red Bulls manager, Hans Backe, doesn't.
“It’s quite a story,” Backe told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday afternoon. “We picked Tim in the second round, [then] he becomes a regular from the first day, and I would say he’s been quite solid. He had a phenomenal first year [and] a quite normal second year. He had some rough times last year. He’s a guy it doesn’t bother – it doesn’t go into his mindset, his mentality. He keeps going.”
It's that mindset that Backe believes will serve Ream well, but reinforces the fact that, largely, Ream's success will be self-determined.
“This is a huge step for him," Backe said. "It will be tough for him, but he has to take the chance with a Premiership club. I’m looking forward to seeing him, but he will get minutes definitely. Now he just has to show it.”
Ream, 24, should get plenty of chances with Bolton. The club, languishing just above the EPL relegation zone, recently sold longtime centerback Gary Cahill to Chelsea, opening an opportunity for the newest Wanderer to step in. His former Red Bulls teammates fully expect Ream to acclimate quickly.
“For sure, he’s been playing really well,” Red Bulls right back Jan Gunnar Solli told MLSsoccer.com. “He was a part of the national team squad for the US and they know what he’s capable of doing. I’m sure he will have his chance and then it’s all about him using that shot well.”