Bolton's Tim Ream hopes recent form leads to brighter US national team future

Reebok Bolton

Despite impressing in the Championship, the Trotters defender has struggled to earn Jurgen Klinsmann's recognition.

Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream is hoping that this summer’s Gold Cup will give him a chance to carve out a place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s long-term plans for the US national team.

Ream, 27, was speaking to after linking up with the US squad in Nashville ahead of the upcoming tournament, having been named in Klinsmann’s 23-man squad last month.

The former MLS star has established himself as one of Bolton’s most reliable performers since joining from the New York Red Bulls in 2012 and won his second straight Player of the Year award last season after helping Neil Lennon’s side escape relegation trouble.

 2014-15 Championship PositionTeamGoalsAssistsTotal Tackles GAMETackles AccuracyTotal Clearances GAMEHeaders Won GAMEHeader SuccessInterceptions GAMEAppearancesMins Played
Tim Ream DF Bolton 0 3 2.23 74% 3.8 2.36 64.6% 2.39 44 3,744

Nevertheless, despite being one of just a handful of Americans getting regular first-team minutes in Europe, the 12-times capped centre-back has faced an ongoing battle to earn Klinsmann’s recognition.

He earned his first cap since October 2011 in September’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic but, with the likes of Omar Gonzalez, John Brooks, Ventura Alvarado, Matt Besler, Geoff Cameron and Michael Orozco also competing for places in the heart of defence, has been give few further opportunities to showcase his worth.

After Bolton boss Lennon criticised Klinsmann for handing him just a one-minute cameo across March’s friendlies against Denmark and Switzerland, the St. Louis-native was not even called-up for last month’s victories over the Netherlands and world champions Germany, leaving fans and the media alike to wonder whether he would get many more chances moving forward.

However, thanks to his end-of-season form, the versatile defender will now be taking part in the Gold Cup on home soil this summer, when he hopes to use his club experience to prove his international credentials and become a core contributor.

“I think the biggest thing has been consistency.” Ream told on his international recall. “Being consistent, training hard, pushing the guys and just bringing in a little bit of European experience. Going through some adversity early on, it’s really helped me.

"I’ve matured as a result, as a player and as a person. I’m just coming in and contributing any way that I can, just getting some minutes, and hopefully helping the team win games.”

After this Friday’s friendly with Guatemala, the USA begin their Gold Cup campaign against Honduras in Frisco, Texas, on 7 July, before facing Haiti and Panama on 10 July and 13 July, respectively, in their other two Group A fixtures.

A successful defence of their 2013 title will see them lock up a place at the 2017 Confederations Cup, but how much Ream will be involved in those efforts remains to be seen.

With a starting place at left-back doubtful, the Bolton ace will likely be backing up Hertha BSC’s Brooks at left centre-back over the course of the tournament, although his versatility could also see him earn some minutes elsewhere.

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