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Ream plays left back for Bolton in preseason friendly

TimReamBolton2013 (BWFC)


After a difficult season with Bolton where he spent more time on the bench than on the field, Tim Ream is hoping that his head coach’s latest experiment will lead to the playing time he desires.

The left-footed defender started and played 73 minutes at left back in Bolton’s first preseason friendly match, a 2-1 defeat to Rotherham United (ironically played at “New York Stadium). According to reports, Ream fared better than expected, despite not playing the position for Bolton or his former club New York Red Bulls.

“I haven’t played there in four years so it’s a little bit of an adjustment,” Ream told the Bolton News. “I’m working on it day by day but I’m trying to pick up on things and, hopefully, I can stake my claim for a starting position.”

Though his manager Dougie Freeman has made clear that he sees Ream as a centerback, the 25-year-old American’s versatility helps make Freeman’s job easier and should give Ream more chances to see the field this coming season.

What do you think of this report? Do you see Ream succeeding at left back?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Ah, Timmy, we hardly knew ye. Maybe Stuart Holden will bring him back some good luck when he returns from the Gold Cup.

  2. Best of luck to Ream, if he develops into a good quality LB, than this can only mean more depth for a one-time troubled position for the US.

    • He got on the fieldfor NY and then chose to risk an upward (then at least) move. He has more in common with Adu or the others who reached too high.

  3. Remember all the hype about Ream and the CB of the future talk a couple of years back.
    I hope he can turn his career around – more than anything he just needs to play. The more defenders who are in good form, to push each other in the Nats pool, the better.

    • What is the fascination with Lichaj?!?! He could barely make the field with a terrible Aston Villa squad, but somehow he’s going to be a great fullback?

      • At least Lichaj is seeing time at his natural position RB, his career really went south when he was moved to LB

      • Because Aston Villa is a mess and he is just one player from it — he wasn’t giving up all of those goals — and because he played quite well last Gold Cup when he was called. He had defensive ability and could get forward with effectiveness.

        We also have included in this tournament some players who could use a club boost, providing them a lengthy period of play to find form and fitness. Holden, Gooch, etc.

        And by the time we’re calling Beltran or Ashe…..?

        FWIW, Villa is EPL and Bolton is Championship. The ragging on his association with Villa bit always seems to downplay it’s an EPL club he’s at. It’s good enough for Guzan. Meanwhile anyone else loosely associated with B.1, B.2, Scandinavia, etc. is a stud. Heck, anyone else in the EPL is great.

      • Lichaj is now in the Championship with Forrest. I’m hoping he’ll have a good run with them….either as RB or LB.
        With Dolo being a TBD after his last surgery, Chandler not playing all that well….we’re left with Evans and Parkhurst on the right. IMO Lichaj is better technically than both.
        At LB we currently have F. Johnson, Beasley, and Castillo….and again I think Lichaj is at least as good as Castillo….and would likely be better suited against some of the more physical midfielders from Europe and Africa.
        IF Ream gets better on his man marking would be happy to add him as an option. He’s young enough that even if he doesn’t make it this year….he could contribute next cycle.

      • He did not play that well in the Gold Cup.

        He gave up the second and equalizing goal to Guardado on an awful botched clearance inside the penalty box.

      • Lichaj was one of our best defenders last gold cup and has performed well in every game he’s played for the US. Have you ever seen him play? He completely shut down Gareth Bale two years ago so bad that even the commentators said they had never seen Bale that ineffective. Michael Bradley couldn’t get on the field for Aston Villa but he’s not a good midfielder right?

        What’s better not playing or playing and still sucking like Chandler? People do realize Chandler had a shambolic year right? I mean please tell me fans actually watch these players before they start posting this garbage. Parkhurst barely played yet he gets called up. Williams barely played, still got called up. You see the double standard here? Cherundolo is hurt again. We just went through WCQ with Brad Evans at RB and youre wondering why a fan wants to see a natural RB that has actually performed well in a US jersey get as chance?

      • chris,

        None of us know exactly why JK has not called in LIchaj. We don’t know what JK or his people have seen when they evaluate him and we don’t know what the Villa management says about Eric.

        Oh and it’s a different management from the guys who mishandled Mikey so his experience is irrelevant here.

        You remember the guy who played two years ago. I was not impressed with him then after the Gold Cup final and I thought he benefited because when the standard of comparison is Jonny Bornstein it’s not hard to look good.

        There is no double standard with Parkhurst and Williams. Those guys have performed well in the past for JK and he believes they have earned the benefit of the doubt.

        Lichaj’s performances on the other hand for the US were for another manager and since JK has been in charge, he has not been consistently impressive enough to force a call up.

        As for that Bale game, when the US met Argentina in the 2007 Copa America, Messi was shut down so bad in the first half he allegedly moved to the other side of the field in the second half.

        The guy who shut him down was Bornstein. The US lost that game just like Villa lost that game against Bale and Spurs.

        That tells you something about the relative value of those performances.
        Lichaj has enough talent to hang with a squad like VIlla’s but not enough to play consistently, at least not since JK has been in charge

        He had a run of games just before Lambert took over where he started but it now appears he did that because the starters were either awful or hurt. And they were cut shortly thereafter. The very first thing Paul Lambert did when he took over was buy a right back and then a left back. That should tell you what he thinks of Eric.

        Eric has potential but in four years or so at Villa has never been able to convince anyone he is a starter or that he deserves regular time in the league . It is on the player to force the National team to call him up not the other way around.

        Lichaj’s failure to be called up by the US is his failure not JK’s.

        Hopefully he will impress at Forest.

      • +1 Very well said, Chris. From a purely depth-chart perspective, there is no rational explanation/justification for not giving Lichaj a look (just one little look) during the past two years of Klinsmann’s tenure. I find a totally bizarre and I wish the soccer press would confront Klinsmann and force him to finally come clean and explain why he has neglected Lichaj, while at the same time treating his buddy Timothy Chandler like his king of the USMNT player pool.

      • biff,

        Maybe you missed it but a little while after JK took over he was asked by the press about why he did not call in Lichaj.

        “Klinsmann: “Eric has always been on our list and the more he plays, the closer he gets. Right now it’s not the right time to bring in a bunch of new players. Every coach wants to see young players coming through the system, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Eric for myself, with the group. 2013 will be a big year with qualification and also the Gold Cup. We’ll have to build two rosters. Hopefully there’s an opportunity for Eric coming up in the near future if he keeps starting at Aston Villa.”

        JK has since repeated this tactic with several players, leaving them off to deal with club issues.

        In this case, LIchaj did not keep up his end of the bargain, i.e,. force Lambert to play him more.

        And therefore he failed to impress JK enough to get called in. HIs absence makes sense to me.

        Here is one Birmingham view of Lichaj:

      • The fact is, Lichaj has performed well for the US in the past.

        Yes, he’s had a rough, inconsistent time at the club level for the last two years, but the fact is, we are not very deep at the fullback position.

        As someone who plays at a high level, he deserves at least a look by Klinsmann over several older, less capped players who play in weaker leagues. He’s bigger and faster than several of the other options, and has demonstrated an ability to play on both the left and right.

        If he comes to a camp and plays poorly, so be it. But at least bring him into camp. JK has shown a willingness to evaluate (and even cap) other players who were in bad club form/not playing at the time (Rogers, Shea, Parkhurst, Danny Williams, Agudelo). Some of them even put in solid performances when they played. Lichaj is pretty much the definition of solid USMNT player even when playing poorly for club.

        Lichaj had a subpar game against Mexico in the last Gold Cup final? So did the rest of the team! Lest we forget, he played well in the 4 games he played before that.

        All we’re saying is, give him a shot in camp, and if he shows well, let him play!

  4. Hope he does well for his club team but he’s not national team quality. Its possible that he’ll improve and get to National team level, however, its also possible for 100 other players to find good form and make the national team.

  5. Ream didn’t play CB until he turned pro. Considering his comfort on the ball and passing ability, left back (his college position) is interesting. I actually have high hopes about this.

    • +1, i always thought that he was miscast as a cb. certainly a better fit LB or CDM. hopefully he makes the move and stays in bolton’s xi.

  6. I think he has a decent shot at it. He has enough pace… Just needs to get his angles right. Distribution should be solid. He should be able to deliver an accurate cross. But the big if is…he still needs to be able to defend the high stuff. Depending on which side the ball is played, he’ll have the far post half the time…which is scary if you lose or physically can’t handle your mark. I’m hoping for the best. If he gets his confidence back and comes through at LB, it would be huge for the nats. We could play Fab at LM without having an anxiety attack over LB.

    • Except one year he had 2 of the top 5 (passing) gaffes in MLS. I wanna say stuff on the order of rolling a square ball across the back that gets intercepted by someone who then runs right between the CBs for a goal.

      He reminds me a little of Boswell careerwise, hottest thing since sliced bread when he came in (Boswell was once defender of the year and a callup), then people figured out he could be beat for speed pretty easy, and downhill from there. Even though Boswell is a decent one on one defender (but only if he doesn’t have to move at all), and a little bit of an aerial threat (5 goals last year), no one’s saying anymore he should be on the US team or playing in Europe, because we know his limits. The first should be true of Ream and unless he finds his level, maybe the second.

  7. Ream in my opinion is weak in the air for a center back….ive said this numerous times that I think he should be a deep lying mid


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