‘You can push through things’ - Veteran USMNT defender Tim Ream targeting 2026 World Cup after ’special’ first tournament in Qatar
- Ream starred at 2022 World Cup
- But wants to make 2026 squad
- Turns 36 later this year
WHAT HAPPENED? It wasn't quite the tournament fans of the United States were hoping for as an upand-coming side crashed out of the 2022 World Cup in the last 16, but that didn't deter Fulham defender Ream from coming away from the Middle East with a positive perspective on his time at the tournament. In fact, making the 2022 World Cup squad has given him the motivation to try and make the 2026 World Cup on home soil.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to the PA news agency, Ream delivered a strong message: “It makes me feel proud that I got there (2022 World Cup), but it also gives me a hunger and a desire to get to another one.
“People say, ‘You’re 35’, and yeah, I am, but I think if you set some lofty goals for yourself, you can push through things."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Being called up for Gregg Berhalter's World Cup squad in what many would consider the Autumn of his career was a huge step for Ream, who endured a 14-month long exile from the squad from 2017 to 2018 when the USA missed out on the World Cup in Russia. It meant that going to Qatar was his first ever World Cup.
"When (then-manager Berhalter) called saying they wanted to bring me in, I was a bit hesitant because I hadn’t been involved for so long," He explained: "But once I wrapped my head around what it was and the fact that I’ve wanted to go to one since I was a little kid, it was amazing. It’s cool (to experience a first World Cup at 35)."
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IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR REAM? With the 2026 World Cup still three years away, Ream's immediate focus remains pushing on with Fulham to ensure they remain a top-flight club in that time, following an impressive return to the Premier League.