When USA defender Tim Ream married his childhood sweetheart, the couple were looking forward to a honeymoon in the Pacific followed by a life together in New York.
But just 24 hours after exchanging vows with Kristen Sapienza, Ream had to have the first difficult conversation as man and wife.
For their dream honeymoon on the white sandy beaches of Tahiti was off and the Reams were about to swap the Big Apple for… Bolton.
Ten years on, the 35-year-old is preparing to line up against England in the World Cup tonight as part of a dozen American players who play, were born or grew up, here. It seems Kristen – mother to sons Aidan and Theodore and daughter Lilia – has since forgiven Ream for the £2.5million 2012 move from New York Red Bulls to Bolton Wanderers and the cold, wet Greater Manchester weather.
‘After getting that call, I sat down with my wife-of-one-day and tried to explain that we wouldn’t be going to Tahiti after all,’ said Ream, who now plays for Premier League team Fulham.
‘It was all booked, and we were due to fly out the following day. When we cancelled, we lost the majority of what we had paid, so it wasn’t just the sunshine we sacrificed to make sure I became a Bolton player.’
Gimme an ‘M’… Arsenal player Matt Turner’s cheerleader wife Ashley Herron
Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner with his ex-NFL cheerleader wife Ashley Herron
Guys and their gals ready for the big World Cup clash: Former Bolton Wanderers star Tim Ream, who now plays for Fulham, with his family
Miss Sapienza is just one of a string of Wags who’ll be in Qatar to see the USA side. And watching from the sidelines will be someone who certainly knows all about cheerleading.
Goalkeeper Matt Turner, 28, is married to NFL cheerleader Ashley Herron, who performed for the New England Patriots at the 2017 Super Bowl. She and Turner, who plays for Arsenal, had a boy named Easton in June.
Reserve goalkeeper Sean Johnson, 33, is dating dancer Marissa Horton who has performed with the famous Radio City Rockettes. There could be divided loyalties for Ream’s Fulham teammate Antonee Robinson, 25, whose fiancee Darcy Myers is English.
Star Wars-loving Robinson, whose nickname is Jedi, was born in Milton Keynes and grew up in Liverpool before choosing to play for the US through his dad’s American citizenship.
Split loyalties? Antonee Robinson, a defender with Fulham, with his English girlfriend Darcy Myers
American footballer Tyler Adams (right), 23, who plays for Leeds United
Others with England connections include midfielders Tyler Adams, 23, and Brenden Aaronson, 22, who both play for Leeds United; goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, 27, is signed to Luton Town and forward Josh Sargent, 22, plays for Norwich City.
Aaronson’s partner is Milana D’Ambra, a football player at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Cameron Carter-Vickers, 24, the son of a former basketball player, was born and raised in Essex, progressed through the Tottenham academy and now plays for Celtic.
Attacker Giovanni Reyna, 20, the son of US football legend Claudio Reyna, was born in Sunderland.
He plays in Germany for Dortmund with England star Jude Bellingham, 19, and is looking forward to going up against his ‘best friend’.
American Brenden Aaronson, 22, plays for Leeds United with girlfriend Milana
New York-born right back Joe Scally (right), who became the second youngest professional player in the US aged 15, met his girlfriend Chaisty (left) in school
Midfielder Yunus Musah, 19, moved to London with his family aged nine and joined Arsenal’s academy. He played in England’s youth teams and starred alongside Bukayo Saka, 21, and Bellingham. The New York-born star said: ‘To be able to be on the pitch with both national teams that I’ve played with is special.’
Celta Vigo player Luca de la Torre also moved to the capital as a teenager and played for the Fulham academy for six years.
New York-born right back Joe Scally, who became the second youngest professional player in the US aged 15, met his girlfriend Ryan Chaisty in school.