World Cup D-Ream is over for our Tim
TIM Ream will not be heading to the World Cup but the Wanderers defender can take solace from the fact he did everything he could to be involved in Brazil.
As Jurgen Klinsmann revealed his 30-man provisional squad to assemble in Stanford, Northern California, Ream was in New York, where he had been training with his former club Red Bulls to ensure he was in top shape should he get the call.
There seems plenty of sympathy across the pond for the Whites player of the year, whose improvement this season had led many to consider him a dark horse for inclusion in Klinsmann’s party.
Ream swept the board of Wanderers honours after a season in which he got to grips with the physicality of Championship football and proved his versatility with spells in central midfield and at left-back.
Only Jay Spearing played more league games than the American, who was well behind fellow defenders David Wheater and Zat Knight in the queue for a first-team place at the start of the campaign.
After rejuvenating his club career, many were predicting he would do the same on the international front.
Ream’s last cap for the US was in 2011, but he was picked for a friendly against Ukraine in March, eventually withdrawing from the squad after his wife gave birth to their first son.
Perhaps the fact he is back on the radar internationally can be considered a success, given that he still had to convince many US football fans of his pedigree when he left MLS two-and-a-half years ago.
Despite an outstanding debut season at Red Bulls, which saw him shortlisted for the league’s Rookie of the Year award, he failed to back-up his early success with mixed results in his second campaign.
That period also saw his integration into the national team – where again some indifferent form had seen him drop out of contention under Bob Bradley.
Through Ream’s trials and tribulations at Wanderers, the debate over who was the best centre-half partnership for the US raged on, and is not truly settled heading into this summer’s tournament in Brazil.
It had been noticed that Ream offered some versatility, and had by the end of April converted to a competent and reliable – if untested internationally – left-back.
Klinsmann had sent his US scouts to monitor Wanderers’ last six games, including an excellent performance at Sheffield Wednesday on the penultimate weekend.
In the end, the German coach sprung few genuine surprises, going for a mixture of tried-and-trusted defenders, such as Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron or Clarence Goodson of San Jose Earthquakes, or up-and-coming stars, like Bayern Munich youngster Julian Green, Hertha Berlin’s John Brooks or Seattle Sounders’ DeAndre Yedlin.