How the USMNT should replace injured Tim Ream for Gold Cup and Nations League campaigns
Who could have predicted that, in the year 2023, the loss of Tim Ream would be so massive for the U.S. men's national team. The 35-year-old defender, who looked to be done with the national team just one year ago, remains a key figure after starring for both Fulham in the Premier League and at the World Cup in Qatar.
He is now unlikely, though, to play any role this summer. A fractured arm suffered against Manchester City requires surgery, knocking Ream out for the rest of the Premier League campaign and, almost certainly, a busy summer for the USMNT. And he won't be the only one missing at center-back, with Cameron Carter-Vickers, another World Cup veteran, likely to miss out due to an injury of his own.
In the coming months, the U.S. will compete in both the CONCACAF Nations League and the Gold Cup and, if history is any indication, two different teams will be used. One will head to Las Vegas to compete in the Nations League, with a separate side contesting the Gold Cup a week or so later.
Based on last cycle, it is expected that many of the European heavy-hitters will play in the Nations League squad, with the Gold Cup being used as more of a proving ground for rising stars. So, with Ream and Carter-Vickers out, what does the U.S. center-back pool look like, and who may be in the squads for each competition? GOAL takes a look:
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