Tim Ream almost declined surprise USMNT World Cup call from Gregg Berhalter
- Ream surprised by Berhalter call
- Had been left out of qualifiers
- But played important role in Qatar
WHAT HAPPENED? The center back has been excellent for Fulham upon the club's return to the Premier League, thus it was no surprise for fans of the English top-flight to see him called up to the USMNT for the World Cup. However, Ream himself was taken aback by the call given his lack of playing time for his country before the tournament, and almost declined the chance to go to the Middle East.
WHAT THEY SAID: "To see [Gregg Berhalter's] name pop up on my phone, I was just like, 'No way, this could not be possible,'" he explained to Men in Blazers. "It took some convincing [for me to go to Qatar]. I can be completely honest with it, the way things had gone, I just wasn't in the right place mentally right then and there with that first phone call to say, 'Yeah I'm there.' Because I wasn't fully confident that they were confident that I could help the team, and so I told him I had to sleep on it."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ream, 35, is in the form of his life and recently signed a contract extension at Fulham. He was a stabilizing force in Qatar as the USMNT handled the controversial lack of playing time for winger Gio Reyna.
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WHAT NEXT FOR REAM? While you can never be certain, the prospect of Fulham facing Premier League relegation now looks incredibly unlikely. Heading into the second half of the season, the American has an important role to play in fighting for as high a finish as possible.