Are you ready to laugh a bit and maybe scratch your head? Rumor has it (via Prost Amerika) that Nigel Reo-Coker, yes, that central midfielder we all know and "love," is apparently on his way stateside to play for one of two MLS teams after turning down offers in Turkey. But wait, we haven't even hit the best part. Here's the kicker: he's apparently been promised a spot on the United States Men's National Team by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Yep, you read that correctly.
Reo-Coker just left Championship side Ipswich Town last week and has burned bridges with four separate teams in England. According to the Prost report, Reo-Coker has turned down offers from Turkish sides Bursaspor (where current USMNTer Maurice Edu is on loan from Stoke) and Kasimpasa in order to move to MLS for three years. The two MLS sides vying for Reo-Coker's hands are supposedly Red Bull New York (Tim Ream's former club) and Portland Timbers.
This is where it gets a bit interesting. Nigel Reo-Coker's wife is a Brooklyn, NY native and was complaining about issues with her UK visa on twitter:
20 more business days till I get my passport/visa?! Expedite service my assss! Just wanna be with my husband!! The UK is trying it— SarahNichole (@SNickyy) January 14, 2013
Red Bull NY would be the best fit as it would be close to his wife's home. The other connection with New York is that the club's Global Advisor is one Gerard Houllier, who managed Aston Villa just a few seasons back. While managing the Clarets, Houllier made Nigel Reo-Coker his captain.
The strangest part of this whole rumor is the "fact" that Jurgen Klinsmann told Nigel Reo-Coker that he would be a "natural selection" for the United States Men's National Team. Reo-Coker only played for England at the U20 and U21 levels, never making an appearance for the senior side and thus not barring him from a FIFA-approved one-time nationality switch. How Reo-Coker would qualify for the United States is a different story because he does not (to our knowledge) have American heritage and would have to wait a few years (from the point where he gets a Green Card) to qualify through the marriage to his wife.
Either way, the whole situation is massively strange. It would be an interesting move from an American perspective as NRC is 28 years old and would be considered a relatively young transplant to a league that has gained an unfair reputation of being a retirement home for footballers.
We'll keep you informed.