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Tim Ream & the USA - Things can only get better

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Neil Lennon's blood will be boiling once again as our St. Louis born defensive stalwart was made to traipse halfway across Europe to Scandinavia and Switzerland for two friendly internationals, only to play the princely total of one minute of football in the game against the Swiss.

Paul Thomas/Getty Images

After United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann gave Tim Ream just the single minute of action against Ireland in a chastening 4-1 defeat back in November, this latest international debacle will no doubt bring out the same feelings of frustration in our esteemed leader and no doubt in our All-American hero too.

When the 50 year-old German decided to give Ream such a similarly pointless cameo in their reverse in Dublin, Lennon pulled no punches, calling it 'disrespectful' and that it made him 'angry', even confirming he had contacted the U.S. Football Association for an explanation.

That his vital defensive lieutenant has now travelled a much further distance, involving no less than three separate flights and more precious time away from Euxton's training ground, all for precisely one whole minute's worth of playing time, will surely only increase the ire of the Ginger one.

Who knows what expletives will be used in his latest call to Barack Obama, or whoever runs their F.A.

Since Ream's debut in November 2010 against South Africa whilst plying his trade at New York Red Bulls, he has earned 13 caps, the latest coming in this brief appearance in Zurich.
His only real sustained run in the team came before the run up to the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup in his home country.

He started that tournament as first choice centre back after a meteoric rise with his club side, yet was unceremoniously jettisoned after conceding a first half penalty against Panama.
He was hauled off later in that game, never to be seen again in the tournament, in which the U.S. finished as runners-up to arch rivals Mexico.

His call up for September's friendly against the Czech Republic in Prague was his first involvement with the U.S. for almost three years, as Bolton Wanderers' Premier League demise and our less than impressive defensive record since then left Ream in the proverbial international wilderness.

Ex-Spurs striker Klinsmann had seemingly been unwilling to come over and check on Ream's own personal form, despite continuing contact with our other Yank, Stu Holden, throughout his countless rehabilitation periods.

The puzzling thing in all of this, and for Ream himself, is that it seems Klinsmann's belief is that the Championship is not a league of requisite quality to pick his first choice players from. Yet two members of each of his defensive line up's against Switzerland and Denmark were from MLS teams.

The MLS, while certainly a developing and improving league, is undoubtedly an inferior competition compared to England's second tier. The only evidence required to support this being that of Bradley Wright-Phillips' astounding goal-scoring feats over there, compared to his distinctly average record in England's second and third tiers.

This makes the frustration over his treatment all the more valid and understandable, giving Lennon every right to vent his spleen yet again.

If Klinsmann or the USMNT scouting set up had bothered to regularly check on the Missouri native's form this season, they would have found a guy playing at the top of his form with a commendable consistency and a level of performance that has noticeably improved throughout the season. This in what is still an unfamiliar position at left full-back for the 27-year-old, with a few stints as part of a three as the left sided centre-half.

That he cannot seem to get a break and has been given nothing more than a worthless minute here or there seems to suggest the U.S. boss clearly doesn't fancy him and only sees him as an emergency option, should his favoured defenders succumb to injury.

Klinsmann's tenure is now into it's fourth year and he shows no clear sign of leaving his role, despite being linked to various European club side roles. He is a popular figure with fans and players, alike after admittedly doing a fine job in getting the best out of his troops, with their latest World Cup again showing off the indomitable spirit and togetherness of Team America (fuck yeah!).

Ream would not be alone in thinking that his face doesn't fit with his manager, as Stoke City's impressive and versatile Geoff Cameron has also been overlooked by Klinsmann, to the surprise of Potters fans who rate him very highly indeed.

In my opinion Ream has more than enough talent and drive to eventually prove his undoubted worth to the Stars and Stripes' fans. Hopefully, the continuation of Ream's perceived snub will not affect his sturdy form for the Whites but ultimately it may take a change of manager for him to get a proper chance to fully force his way into his national team.

That or perhaps a summer move to a Premier League club but we all hope that will not come to fruition. Either way, we all hope that T-Ream's international career can only get better.