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United States Veteran Tim Ream Says Age no Concern

Fulham and United States defender Tim Ream said he’s “not really thinking about age” as he’s embarks on his 16th season in professional soccer.

Ream, 35, is in his hometown of St. Louis preparing for the U.S. team’s friendly match against Uzbekistan on Sept. 9, which will be followed by a second friendly against Oman in St. Paul, Minnesota, four days later.

Despite excelling for the U.S. at the 2022 World Cup, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see the U.S. turn to other, younger defenders, but Ream is determined to continue to be a contributor for his country.

“I’m just kind of playing and living in the moment, just enjoying doing what I’m doing. I’m not, I’m not really thinking about age,” Ream told reporters on a conference call Monday. “I set goals for myself every season. I set longer term goals to try to get to another World Cup, try to be able to play in a Copa America next summer.

“I just think being able to enjoy what you’re doing. As you get older most people’s bodies start give out. Their mind starts to wander. And for me, I’m just trying to enjoy everything, try to take it all in, and do as much and play as much as I possibly can.”

Ream’s renaissance — he was a bit of a surprise inclusion on the team that reached the round of 16 in Qatar — has proved to be an inspiration for young players and veterans alike.

“Obviously, everybody knows Tim is a really important player to this team and to this program,” said U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner. “To perform at the level that he’s performing, week in and week out, over the last few years, to be away from the national team and then come back…the resiliency that he shows, but also, he just exudes this like, calmness even just the way he speaks.

“On the pitch for me, it’s really helpful. Off the pitch, it’s really helpful. If I can have half the career that this guy has had, I’ll consider it’ll be very successful.”

Turner is making the most of his move to Nottingham Forest, winning the starting goalkeeper spot after spending a solitary season with Arsenal as the backup to England international Aaron Ramsdale.

The U.S. No. 1 earned his first clean sheet in last weekend’s 1-0 win over Chelsea.

“I think it’s easy to get into the mode where you’re comfortable not competing and just collecting your paycheck and showing up for work,” Turner said. “I think the reason I fell in love with the game was that competition element of it all. So then speaking of competition, anywhere you play in the Premier League, it’s, it’s the best league in the world, you’re gonna have competition for spots.

“If we want to be the club that we want to be going forward, you’re going to have to have competition all over the pitch for every day in training, just to combat complacency and everything. So I’m looking forward to challenges. I’m looking forward to fighting and ultimately want to play as many games as possible and keep that feeling going of competing on the pitch.”

Source : ESPN