Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream still aiming for USA World Cup squad
TIM Ream is aiming to gatecrash the US squad for this summer’s World Cup after seizing a new lease of life with Wanderers.
The American defender had dropped out of contention for his country after struggling at first to come to terms with English football, particularly after relegation from the Premier League.
But after clawing his way back into contention and forming a strong defensive partnership with Matt Mills over the last few months, he has again popped up on the radar of Jurgen Klinsmann’s Brazil-bound side.
Ream has been named in provisional squads for the last few friendlies but is yet to make the final cut.
The 26-year-old feels as if he is on the cusp of a breakthrough but knows only his ever-improving club form will get him on the plane next summer.
“Every person who plays this game, it is their dream to play in the World Cup and play at the highest level,” Ream said. “I obviously hope to be chosen for the squad, but that doesn’t really matter if I’m not playing here.
“I need to keep playing regular games and performing for Bolton and hopefully that can stand me in good stead ahead of the summer.
“At the moment I’m right there on the bubble. I’ve been in a lot of the long lists for the national team squads which is nice. At the end of the day you want to be involved in every camp that becomes available.
“Again, that only becomes available if you’re playing games for your club. Hopefully I can keep on doing that here at Bolton and sneak in the national team squad ahead of the tournament.”
Fellow American Stuart Holden has also targeted a spot in Klinsmann’s plans and is due back in town to see the derby against Wigan.
If either player makes the cut, Ream admits it is a tall order to qualify from a group that also includes Ghana, Germany and Portugal.
“Regarding the draw, we’ve got a bit of a difficult one,” he said. “Some will probably say it’s the hardest of the lot. England didn’t get a favourable draw either, so I’d say those two certainly look the toughest.
“There are one or two interesting story lines, with Jurgen Klinsmann having coached the German national team and having won the World Cup with them as a player.
“You then throw in Portugal and we all know who plays on that team. It’s definitely a difficult group for us.”