All Whites captain Winston Reid looks set to join MLS expansion team Nashville SC in a loan deal.

West Ham manager David Moyes confirmed last Thursday that the central defender was likely to head stateside, but was unwilling to specify the club at that stage.

Reid has since been linked with both Sporting Kansas City and Nashville, but the Herald understands that the 31-year-old will turn out for the Tennessee-based club.

It's believed the loan deal could initially be for a period of six months, theoretically allowing Reid to return to London for pre-season with the Hammers and try to force his way back into first team reckoning.


Premium gold

Nashville Soccer club will join the MLS this season, along with Inter Miami (the Florida based-franchise partly owned by David Beckham), expanding the competition to 26 teams.

At the moment, the main focus for Reid will be game time.

He hasn't played a competitive match for West Ham (putting aside an appearance in an Under-23 fixture in late November) for almost two years, after suffering a freak knee injury against Swansea in March 2018, when he was knocked unconscious and damaged ligaments in his knee.

Up until then he had been consistent and fairly durable; he averaged 33 matches in the previous three seasons before his 2017/18 campaign was cut short, despite a catalogue of niggling injuries (groin, calf, abductor, hamstring, quadriceps and hip strain) during that time.

Reid is highly regarded at the London club, with more than 220 appearances since his debut in 2010, and is contracted until the end of the 2022/23 season, but his extended stint on the sidelines has been frustrating for everyone.

Another complicating factor is West Ham's current predicament in the Premier League.

Heading into this weekend's round of matches, the Irons were 17th, only above the relegation zone on goal difference, which is hardly the environment to ease someone back on loan.

"You get to a point when you're not just going to go straight in," admitted Reid, in a recent interview published on the club's website.


"More than anything else, it's about getting back into a rhythm again, getting back into a rhythm of training and doing all this, and playing and whatever.

"That's probably the toughest thing, because there's being back fit and available, and then there is getting back into a rhythm. It's fine now, the injury has healed now, there's no issues with it, so now it's about finding out where I am at on the pitch."

If Reid does return to action on the field in the United States, it will be welcome news for the All Whites.

His presence in Dublin last November, where he joined the national team for the first team since the 2017 Intercontinental playoffs with Peru, underlined his value.

Reid was a standout in his 45 minute spell at Aviva Stadium, and provided plenty of leadership and inspiration during the camp, while also saying he aimed to see out the current World Cup cycle.

New Zealand Football are also close to confirming two fixtures in the Middle East in March for the All Whites.

As first reported by the Herald last November, Oman and Bahrain will be the opponents, will only final paperwork outstanding.