Since joining Bolton Wanderers last January, Tim Ream has not exactly set anything on fire. He quickly found his way to the bench this season (and not being named at all in more than a few matches) for Bolton and has not been anywhere near consideration for another US Men's National Team appearance.
Under Dougie Freedman, he has only played two matches for Bolton with one starting and one substitute appearance, totaling 83 minutes. Ream made his first appearance in three matches last weekend against Huddersfield Town, coming in the match's dying moments to replace Matt Mills.
We just received confirmation that Matt Mills is due to miss about six weeks of action for Bolton due to the thigh injury picked up in the aforementioned match and as the saying goes: when one door closes, another opens.
Ream, who has had some good and some awful performances in his time at Bolton, has certainly been frustrated with the lack of playing time he has had this year. In an interview with the NY Times Goal blog last month, Ream shared his thoughts:
"When you're not playing, not even in first 18 and sitting with all the young boys who are 18, 19 and 20, you kind of look around and maybe question it then. But for the most part it's about overcoming that, just working hard. We all make decisions for certain reasons, for my career and my wife we felt this was the best decision - and still do. Again, it's a matter of working hard, getting games and going from there."
However, Ream believes he is on the cusp of a national team recall:
"Obviously, the first step is getting games consistently. After that you can't really look too far ahead. You want more national team games and to get called into camps and be part of that group being with 15, 16, 20 guys you have something in common with. Just being consistent and playing well.
"Actually, we spoke about the last two camps. At the beginning of August I was on the verge of being called in, but it was the beginning of season and Jurgen didn't want to get in the way. Then this last camp, I was going to go then Coyle got fired and [Jurgen Klinsmann] didn't want to take me away of some solid training with the new manager. I think I'm right there. If I start to get games and games in a row, hopefully I'll be right in the mix."
The USMNT usually holds a January camp (Camp Cupcake) for players on the fringes of the National Team in order for the coaching staff to get a better look at the players that aren't automatic callups to the squad. The camp usually consists of Major League Soccer-based players with the occasional Europe-based fringe player called in.
Traditionally, the camp is used to develop young players but this year, the United States are preparing for World Cup qualification in the CONCACAF Hexagonal round. The Hex will take place from February to mid-October with the US, Jamaica, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama competing for 3.5 World Cup 2014 spots. The camp will take place from January 14 to the 21st and who knows, maybe Tim Ream will be called in.