Tim Ream has watched or played in hundreds of soccer games, but the unique emotions of possible relegation are new to him. When the American defender watched Blackburn's loss to
Wigan, a match that sealed Rovers' relegation, he felt a pain in his gut. The images of dejected players and devastated fans illustrated what his team, Bolton, faces on Sunday. Read the original story...
arrived from the Red Bulls in January, should be on the field on Sunday, when Bolton takes on Stoke City in a match with relegation implications. The Trotters need to win at Stoke City and have
first-place Manchester City defeat Queens Park Rangers in order for Bolton to remain in the Barclays Premier League.
"I don't know if anybody who follows American sports like basketball,
baseball or American football would even understand what it is like," Ream told Ives Galarcep. "You watch the [Blackburn] game and as the game progresses and Wigan
scores, you see Blackburn and how they react. ... Sitting there watching the game and you think about your own team and the games that you've had in the past two or three weeks that were ties but
could have been better results. It was heartbreaking to watch and I wasn't even playing in the game."
Ream's first half season in English soccer has been filled with surprises and emotional
moments, as well as the satisfaction that comes with having made the successful transition from MLS to England. Yet on Sunday comes either the relief of survival or gloom of relegation.