The 27-year-old centre-back made his first international start in four years as Clint Dempsey's strike earned Jurgen Klinsmann's side a 1-0 victory.
Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream made his first start for the USA since June 2011 on Friday night, as Jurgen Klinsmann’s side recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over Haiti in their second Gold Cup group game.
After a 2-1 win against Honduras in their tournament opener, the States went into the match in Foxborough, Massachusetts, knowing another three points would seal a place in the knockout rounds, but their Group A rivals proved no pushovers.
Haiti in fact had the better of the chances through the opening 45 minutes, as Klinsmann’s men struggled to get out of the gate and were fortunate to see a number of defensive miscues go unpunished.
The home side broke the deadlock just after the interval, however, when half-time substitute Gyasi Zardes made an immediate impact, setting up Clint Dempsey to keep their title defence on track with his third goal of the tournament.
Nevertheless, it was a far from encouraging performance, as the team’s struggles both in attack and defence were far too evident on the night.
Ream was one of those who had a mixed outing, as the centre-back committed one awful giveaway in the first-half and was later left for dead by Duckens Nazon near the hour, as Brad Guzan bailed him out with a superb one-on-one save.
The Bolton ace did have some bright moments, though, including a couple of crucial interceptions over the course of the match and one big shot block late on to help preserve the narrow lead.
Having impressed in the Championship over the past two seasons, US fans have been calling for Klinsmann to give the 13-times capped defender a chance in the side for some time now and, while it was a far from stellar outing, the head coach was overall satisfied with what he saw.
“I think it took a little bit of time for Tim to get into that game,” he told MLSSoccer.com after the final whistle. “Then, in the second half he was calm, he was controlled and played a good game. It was difficult for him the first 20-25 minutes because they were all over the place. It was tough on our back line.”
That more or less reflected how the USA’s Twitter-based supporters felt about Ream’s performance, as the following set of reactions show…
Thought Ream was the best #USMNT defender tonight. Hope we see him again. Everyone else who started on the back line? Eh...— Benjamin Valentine (@bvalentine14) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream goes 90 and the US keeps a clean sheet? Want to say I'm shocked but you know.— Mark Yesilevskiy (@MarkWhyy) July 11, 2015
I definitely like Tim Ream at the back over Alvarado, much better defender for the US— Tyler (@TRayALLDay) July 11, 2015
The good: Uh, Haiti's lack of finishing? (OK, Tim Ream.) The bad: Everything related to offense. The ugly: Altidore's confidence. #USMNT— Bryan Garcia (@BryanUF) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream gives the ball away a lot for a guy sold as the one US CB comfortable on the ball.— J (@J_Geezie) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream is making this #USMNT defense look much, much better than they actually are.— Jenn Leser (@jennleser) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream looks good and no one else does so watch this be the LAST GAME HE EVER STARTS. #USAvHAI— Jason Smith (@jasonisasmith) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream: good. Everyone else: not.— CARLI GOALLOYD (@NaturallyKatz) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream already looking like he should be US starting CB.— Dillon Payne (@ThePayne_93) July 11, 2015
Love the fact Tim Ream is getting his chance tonight.— Andrew Nielsen (@Andrew_Nielsen) July 11, 2015
Glad to see Tim Ream doing his thing on defense tonight for USA. Miss him on @NewYorkRedBulls— David Vences (@VencesDavid) July 11, 2015
Tim Ream has been exquisite so far. Everyone else...not so much— Brad Miller (@B_MiLLi) July 11, 2015