Bolton's Tim Ream outlines US national team aims

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Tim Ream is hoping that his Bolton form will see him become more of a regular fixture for the US national team moving forward.

Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream has told ESPN FC of his hope that his recent performances will have sent a message to US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Ream, 27, earned his US debut in November 2010 after impressing in his first professional campaign out of college with the New York Red Bulls, before going on to win six further caps over the course of 2011.

However, after making a £2.5 million move to Bolton in the New Year, the St. Louis-native’s struggles to establish himself in the first-team during his first two seasons at the Macron Stadium saw him fall out of favour with Klinsmann, as the likes of Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez moved ahead of him on the depth chart.

A breakout 2013-14 campaign, in which he made 45 total appearances between centre-back, left-back and even midfield, failed to get him into the World Cup picture, but post-tournament experimentation has since gifted the Bolton fan favourite a second chance in the setup.

Getting his first run-out since October 2011 in September’s 1-0 win in the Czech Republic, Ream’s four caps at the tail end of 2014 showed that he remains in Klinsmann’s thoughts, but the versatile defender still had to wait until the withdrawal of John Brooks from the squad to earn a trip to Dublin in November for a brief cameo against the Republic of Ireland.

Nevertheless, having continued to impress in the Championship this season, as well as in the recent FA Cup tie against Liverpool, he is sure his national team boss is taking notice.

"Klinsmann is always in contact with a lot of guys and in contact with agents," he said. "They have an entire scouting system over here in Europe now.

“Every now and again I'll get a text message or a phone call saying [US scout] Matthias Hamann is coming to a game or one of the staff is coming to a game. I don't speak to him personally, but do get texts now and again and see guys at games. They're keeping their eye on me."

Ream has made 27 league appearances this season, spending most of his time at left-back under new boss Neil Lennon, whose efforts in turning around their fortunes following a disastrous start under the since-departed Dougie Freedman have not gone unnoticed with his star stopper.

"Neil has come in and just changed the entire mindset of the team," he said. "We've been hard to be beat most games and keeping a lot of clean sheets, and then going down the other end and scoring quite a few goals. It's been a nice turnaround and a nice change of fortune for us."

Having seen several of his big-name compatriots return to MLS over the past season, Ream’s name has been mooted as a potential target for the league but, with his recent fine form, a move back across the Atlantic is far from his thoughts.

"No, not at all, and to be honest at this point -- I'm only 27 -- I'm not really interested in going back yet," he added. "I'm obviously enjoying my time here and playing well for Bolton. The team is picking up points, and I haven't even given it a thought to come back yet."

Remaining in Europe is far likelier to impress Klinsmann at this point and, with the German experimenting with a 3-5-2 formation during the team’s first training camp of 2015, Ream has been touted as the ideal candidate to fill that left centre-back role.

Regardless, if he continues to prove an important contributor to Bolton moving forward, then he should be in the picture no matter how the US team lines up.

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