Tuesday kickoff

Ream to Wembley, Hines-Ike rumors, Montreal's blues, & more

Tim Ream is one step closer towards making a return to the Premier League with an iconic club in American Soccer history. Meanwhile Alfredo Morales will also return to the Bundesliga with Fortuna Dusseldorf. Brendan Hines-Ike could be slated for a Dutch move and a look at the woeful Montreal Impact. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
May 15, 2018
5:10 AM
THE TOP STORY on Wednesday in American soccer involves a veteran of the national team and the club that was most identified with American players in Europe for over a decade. On Monday, Fulham advanced to the promotional playoff with an aim at returning to the Premier League.

Here is a look at the top stories

Ream and Fulham head to Wembley

The list of American players who have suited up for Fulham is very long and the club and some of the team’s most beloved players were also U.S. internationals. While Clint Dempsey had the most success for an American at Craven Cottage, Brian McBride was the most beloved player and currently has the pub inside the stadium named after him.

Tim Ream, 30, is quickly approaching this type of elevated status and if he can help Fulham return to the Premier League for the first time since 2014, he will be beloved by the Fulham faithful. Since December, it is hard to think of a better defender in the Championship.

Needing to erase a 1-0 deficit from the first leg against Derby County, Fulham’s defense had little room for error as an away goal would certainly sink the club. But the club scored twice in the second half and held the clean sheet to send Craven Cottage into hysteria.

Awaiting Fulham will be either Aston Villa or Middlesbrough on May 26th at Wembley Stadium. It is considered the richest game in soccer as the winner will get a share of the Premier League television rights and the loser will return to a small fraction of that in the Championship.

Morales returns to the Bundesliga

It was a poorly kept secret but Alfredo Morales will return to the Bundesliga next year. Ingolstadt failed to earn promotion out of the 2.Bundesliga but Morales, 27, came to terms with newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf which won the 2.Bundesliga title this season.

On Tuesday, Morales made it official as the club announced a deal through 2021.

Hines-Ike drawing Eredivisie interest

Reports in Holland have surfaced that Dutch clubs are showing interest Brendan Hines-Ike, 23, who is currently playing in Sweden with Orebro.

With quotes from his agent, the report suggested the Orebro know that Hines-Ike is looking elsewhere and that the deal might happen this summer. It did not indicate which club in Holland was showing interest only that it was one of the bigger teams in Holland.

A native of the Denver area, Hines-Ike is in his third season with Orebro – which he joined after a four year college career split between Creighton and the University of South Florida. To date, his only international involvement with the United States was a five U-18 camps six years ago.

Behind Montreal’s dismal numbers

The poorest performing team right now in MLS is the Montreal Impact which has lost six of its past seven games. The Canadian club is not in last place but right now that only seems like a matter of time. What is particularly disappointing for Montreal supporters is that it wasn’t that long ago when it was one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference.

The decision to hire Remi Garde last November speaks volumes. He hasn’t coached since March 29, 2016 when he left Aston Villa after a terrible record with the English Club.

During his time at Villa, he posted a 2-12-6 record but that was good enough to get the gig at Montreal. According to Sky Sports: “His win rate of 10% is the third lowest of Premier League managers to have overseen at least 15 games, behind only former Southampton boss Steve Wigley and ex-Bolton manager Roy McFarland.”

Now he is 3-8-0 in Montreal – which should come as little surprise.

So over his last two clubs, Garde has a record of 5-20-6 across 31 games.

The problem really isn’t Garde, however. The problem falls on the decision makers that brought Garde to Montreal because there was nothing pointing to this being a successful hire.

2019 Gold Cup Venues

Not all of the venues are known for next year’s tournament but CONCACAF has revealed some of the stadiums that will host games next year and Sports Illustrated has confirmed that Allianz Field will also host games – including the U.S. team’s first group stage game.

Allianz Field, Saint Paul, MN
Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

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