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Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream Withdrawn from U.S. Training Camp Roster ahead of Friendly against Ukraine

CHICAGO (March 1, 2014) — U.S. Men’s National Team midfielders Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud and defender Tim Ream have been withdrawn from the U.S. roster ahead of the start of training camp for the friendly against Ukraine. No replacements will be added.

Bradley will stay behind to receive treatment for a minor issue in order to be fully prepared for the start of the MLS season. Diskerud is returning to full fitness following a right hip injury suffered 10 days ago, while Ream was excused for personal reasons.

The U.S. will face Ukraine on March 5 in Larnaca, Cyprus. The match was previously set to be played in Kharkiv, Ukraine, but the location was changed due to current conditions in the country. Kickoff at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca is set for 2 p.m. ET (9 p.m. local), and the match will be broadcast on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas. Fans can also follow the game live on Twitter @ussoccer.

The match falls on the only FIFA international fixture date before May, making this the one opportunity for European-based players to play for the National Team prior to the start of the World Cup preparation camp. The team will begin gathering in Frankfurt on Sunday, March 2, for two days of training before traveling to play for the first time in Cyprus.

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3)
: Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (6)
: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield Wednesday), Will Packwood (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (6)
: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS (6)
: Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)

Jurgen Klinsmann Q & A: 'The Countdown is on'

The U.S. Men’s National Team continues its preparations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with a match against Ukraine – FIFA’s highest-ranked team not to qualify for this summer’s tournament. U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called in a squad of primarily European-based players for a final personal evaluation before the provisional roster is announced in May and the final preparation camp ensues shortly thereafter.

Klinsmann sat down with ussoccer.com to address what he and the coaching staff are looking for from the players during and after the match against Ukraine, the core and potential players that make up the current squad, what he expects from a talented Ukraine team and the excitement of feeling the World Cup just around the corner.

ussoccer.com: You haven’t had a chance to call in the European-based players since November. How are you viewing the opportunity this camp presents?

Jurgen Klinsmann: “Having this Ukraine game is a huge opportunity, mainly for our European-based players. You want to give them a chance to show where they are at and what’s going on in their specific situation. It’s great to call in players like Oguchi Onyewu, Will Packwood – his first time to come in – Tim Ream, who is playing consistently well at Bolton, Danny Williams, who has now kind of made his way through at Reading and playing week-in, week-out, and Juan Agudelo, who is now in Holland.

“It’s a huge opportunity for all those guys to prove to us that they are eager and hungry to jump on the train to the World Cup. We will get a good picture of them over those couple of days, and therefore, we left almost all the MLS players back in the United States.”

ussoccer.com: There will be two MLS-based players on the roster, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley. What was the thought process behind bringing them?
JK: “This is a huge game. We play Ukraine, which barley missed out on going to Brazil. They had a playoff against France, one of the best teams in the world. So you want to have a very strong team against Ukraine, and as I often mention our team is defined in its spine. The core group of the team is Tim Howard and then Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones in midfield, Clint Dempsey in front of them and then Jozy Altidore up front. These five players build our spine.

“Having Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey in for Ukraine is very important to us. Clint has played these two months at Fulham and Michael is coming off preseason camp with Toronto, so for us it’s very important to see both back in the team and putting their stamp on the game.”

ussoccer.com: This is the only game in which you will get to see the European-based players before the provisional roster announcement in May. What messages will be delivering to these players?
JK: “It’s difficult for us coaches to prepare everything for this summer’s World Cup only having this game on March 5 before going into preparation camp. It’s very little time to work with the players. Therefore, for the European-based players, in these three or four days we are together and the game against Ukraine, t’s even more important they have a good showing.”

“The coaching staff is doing a lot of scouting at their club teams. Whether it’s going to visit guys in the Premiership and Championship in England, the Bundesliga, going to France to see Alejandro Bedoya … these opportunities are very crucial to us.

ussoccer.com: You have invited eighteen-year-old Julian Green, who plays at Bayern Munich, to train with the team for two days in Frankfurt. What are you hoping to accomplish with him in his first introduction to the Senior National Team?
JK: “We are thrilled Julian accepted our invitation and comes into these two days in Frankfurt. We want to show him how things work with the United States team and with our environment. We want him to meet the players, to meet the staff, obviously to meet us coaches, and we want him to feel comfortable in our environment. With a lot of players who come through the ranks with dual citizenship, it’s going to be very difficult for those kids to choose which country they want to play for if they have this enormous talent to play at the highest level possible.

“Julian has this talent. Julian is an exceptional talent not only because he’s playing for Bayern Munich, but he’s shown that already over the past two years in the senior team environment there against the “older guys.” We are happy to welcome him for those two days. It’s a big step for him as we try to emotionally connect him to our program, because it’s not only a World Cup coming up this summer. Next year there’s a Gold Cup, then you have an Olympics, then you have Confederations Cup hopefully and soon comes the next World Cup around the corner in Russia. At the same time we have our eyes on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we also have our eyes on developing the next generation of players, and Julian is a very important part of that.”

ussoccer.com: Ukraine narrowly missed out on going to this summer’s World Cup after losing a UEFA playoff to France. What do you expect from FIFA’s highest-ranked team not to make it to the World Cup?
JK: “I expect a very difficult game. If you look at their team, it’s a very high-quality team that they have. Obviously, they are highly disappointed in not going to Brazil, so when they get the opportunity to play against teams that are going to Brazil they want to beat them, so they want to beat us badly. We need to be prepared for that, and to prove again away from home that we can play with the good teams of the world. It’s going to be a great benchmark for us and a difficult game, but those are the environments that we need to go to in order to mature and improve.”

ussoccer.com: This is a chance for players to make their case for a spot on the World Cup roster. What answers can you get from this game as the World Cup approaches?
JK: “We want to see them preform on the field, but also over four days, we have time to sit down with them for a cup of coffee and discuss their individual situations. We just want the players to understand that every week really counts, every week matters. We want them to pick it up with their club teams. Some players like John Brooks – he sits on the bench right now. Because of injuries he lost his starting spot, and has to fight his way back into the team.

“So, the message to all the players is get a starting spot with your club team, to play week-in, week-out. Add to your schedule, on top of your club’s training, maybe one or two sessions a week on your own in order to get yourself a jump start when we go into World Cup preparation camp because it’s going to be very demanding. The message also is that we are on top of them in terms of scouting them, watching them, knowing exactly what’s going on. We talk to their club coaches. It’s a lot of monitoring work that goes on now over the next two-and-a-half months until we start preparation camp for the World Cup.”

ussoccer.com: You haven’t seen a lot of these players since November and a lot of key guys will be at this camp. Does that make you feel like the World Cup is right around the corner?
JK: “It feels already a little bit like that. We had the January camp where we went down for two weeks to Sao Paulo to try out the infrastructure there. I went myself last week again. Now having the European-based players coming in for the Ukraine game, it gives you the feeling that the countdown is on. We really count every day now to our first game against Ghana in Natalon June 16. It’s a long stretch of four years between World Cups, and once we get close to the tournament, it gets more exciting every day.”

Q & A with Defender Tim Ream

Maybe a handful of American players have endured the type of journey and high-profile task that Bolton Wanderers defender Tim Ream has had in a three-month stretch.

After making the move from Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls to the Premier League in late January, Ream has played a vital role in lifting the team onto the right side of the ledger in the fight to avoid relegation, up to a current 16th-place position and one precious point above three rivals. He has been a regular starter for the Wanderers, and Ream hopes that his efforts will springboard a return to the U.S. Men’s National Team when it kicks off 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying this summer.

Ream’s new Bolton team was on the wrong end of relegation (19th place) following his first Premier League game against Chelsea, but the Wanderers are currently out of the red and control their own fate. They host Clint Dempsey and Fulham on April 7 (shown on tape-delay on FOX Soccer at 5 p.m. ET), and for Ream it will be a much different perspective going against his fellow National Teamer.

ussoccer.com caught up with Ream before this highly anticipated matchup.

ussoccer.com: Having been with Bolton for roughly two months now, how do you feel things have gone on the field so far?
Tim Ream: “On the field, it’s gone pretty well up to this point. Since signing I’ve played in almost every game and started almost every game and I’ve done well for the most part. I feel like I fit in with all the guys on the team, fit in with the style of play and I’m up to speed on everything with just playing in the Premier League. So far, so good. I’m pretty pleased with it.”

ussoccer.com: What is the biggest adjustment that you have had to make to get acclimated to Bolton?
TR: “I think the biggest thing is just communication and knowing how the guys around you play, what their skill sets are and what they’re good at. I think that’s the biggest thing. Everybody has so much natural ability that you’re not worried about whether they can play or not. It’s the communication and understanding that isn’t there when you first come over. I think that’s the most difficult part with your own team is figuring out good lines of communication and having a good understanding with each other.”

ussoccer.com: What have you found to be the main differences moving into the Premier League environment?
TR: “There are a couple. The biggest one is the talent all over the field at every position, no matter who you play. Obviously there are talented guys in MLS, but you don’t have the talent at every single position like you do here. You play the Man Citys and the Chelseas, they have a quality international player at every spot. That’s definitely a big difference. And then the speed of play. It’s different, but it’s not as crazy of a difference as most people would think. Physically, I’ve had to step that up another notch and continue to improve upon that because that’s what got me last year was not being physical enough. That’s something that I’ve learned and something that I continue to have to work on.”

ussoccer.com: After your first game – an FA Cup match against Millwall – your next two were against Chelsea and Manchester City. Was there a moment where you were in awe with those tall tasks?
TR: “Yeah, actually there was. At the time of the game you don’t really have much time to think about it. I think it was more after the Man City game when I actually had to play defensive midfield, and you sit in the locker room afterward and you say ‘wow, what an introduction.’ You have to play Chelsea one week and Man City the next. These are two teams that you watch on TV all the time, you watch their players all the time. It was very surreal the day following those two games. I was thinking to myself that I held my own, for the most part, but also knew there was a long way to get to that level and be able to compete with those guys for 90 minutes. It was definitely a surreal experience and a tough introduction.”

ussoccer.com: When you play against this type of improved competition, does it build your confidence?
TR: “It’s twofold. When you can play with and against these guys and you play well, it’s a major confidence boost. Especially – I’ve said it all along – after the year I had in MLS and the struggles with the National Team. It was a tough year, and being able to come in here and play alongside them, and play against them and play well, it’s a huge confidence boost. Every player wants to play against the best competition in the world and the best teams. To be able to come here and prove your worth and show what you’re about and play against those teams, it can only make you better as a player and as a person and help you in the long-term.”

ussoccer.com: Do you think it will it help you at the international level?
TR: “Absolutely. Obviously you have to continue to play well to get called in and get games in with the National Team. But again, you’re playing teams that have international-caliber players at every position, and so you start to understand and start to be able to read the game quicker and read the game a step or two ahead. It just helps in the all-around scheme of things.”

ussoccer.com: Several weeks ago Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest against Tottenham (as of April 5 Muamba is reportedly walking around again in the hospital). What was going through your mind and your teammates’ minds, and how did you cope with that startling experience?
TR: “It’s different for every player. Everybody around the club was kind of just walking around in a trance, just looking dazed and not really saying much. It’s not something that most players experience and ever want to experience. It’s a scary thing. It really makes you appreciate what you have and what you’re achieving and what you’re continuing to play for. Everybody’s different. I’m one of those guys that takes a day or two to collect your thoughts. I like being around people and getting back to a normal routine, and that’s not to say you still don’t think about what happened or still don’t think about Fabrice. Once you start getting back into a normal routine you feel like you can kind of continue to heal and mend and just get back to normal.”

ussoccer.com: What was it like seeing the reactions of the players and fans – not just Bolton, but people from all over the league?
TR: “To see the fans come together and to see everybody chanting Fabrice’s name, and all the players coming together and consoling each other no matter what team it was … you saw guys on Tottenham with arms around guys of our team. The rest of the league, and all of the flowers and scarves and jerseys that were brought to the stadium and all around the world with Barcelona and Real Madrid wearing the t-shirts and New York wearing t-shirts for him, it was pretty special to see. It gives you a real perspective that football is really about camaraderie, no matter who you’re rooting for and who you’re rooting against.”

ussoccer.com: You’re facing Clint Dempsey and Fulham next. Has it been fun to see a fellow American do what he’s done this season?
TR: “He’s having arguably the best season of any American field player. Obviously [Everton’s] Timmy Howard has been unbelievable in the net for years now, but what Clint’s doing, scoring goals, getting assists, is something that’s definitely fun to watch. You see every weekend that he’s either picking up a goal or picking up an assist. I think it’s important, not only for Clint, but for this country and the league as a whole to see that Americans can succeed here. As much as I’ve played with him, I think once you step on the field it’s business. Obviously he and I, we know each other, we talk, and we’re somewhat friends just from being on the National Team. You have a job to do once the whistle blows and you step on the field. You can be buddy-buddy before and buddy-buddy after, but during that 90 minutes it’s intense and you can’t be nice.”

ussoccer.com: Given his form, how much of a sense of pride would it be for you and Bolton to shut him down?
TR: “It’s something that I’ve definitely thought about the last couple days. It’s not just going to be me. It’s going to take a real team effort to shut him down and to shut their team down. I’ll get a lot of pointers, even though I’ve played with him multiple times. The guys that play around me have played against him more and I think you learn more from playing against him and knowing what he does in the run of play than you do playing with him. With the National Team, I get to watch him be offensive and not have to worry about marking him or going into a tackle with him and watching his movements. So I think it will be a big sense of pride if we can shut him down and shut the team down and come away with three points.”

ussoccer.com: Do you feel good about the fact that you have started regularly with Bolton so quickly?
TR: “Yeah. It’s hard for a player when you’re used to playing every game and then you come to a team and you don’t play. I’ve been very fortunate that in my time in New York I was able to step right in. Now coming here, I feel really good about my play and I feel great that I’ve been able to step in and contribute to the team and help us get out of relegation at the moment. I’m definitely happy, and a little bit surprised. But at the same time I know what I’m capable of, and I knew coming in here that I’d be able to help the team out and step in and help win games.”

ussoccer.com: Comparing your first Premier League match against Chelsea to this current stage, do you think there is a better flow within the Bolton team?
TR: “I think so. We’re definitely in a better position numbers-wise and points-wise. At the end of the day, we knew after those two games [against Chelsea and Manchester City] that of all the teams that were near the bottom, we have the most favorable schedule. All the other teams around us have to play at least three or four more of the top six teams. So it was just up to us to really take control, and we really control our own destiny. If we keep winning games, we’ll obviously be in a good position. With a little bit of help here and there, we could be in an even better position. But at the end of the day, it’s about taking care of your own results and taking care of your own games, and we’re definitely in a better spot now. Everybody’s more willing to fight for each other and battle it out in these games to pick up the points, which was a little bit different than when I first came over.”

ussoccer.com: Do you also see improvement on both ends of the pitch, especially the offensive side where goals had been hard to come by?
TR: “I think so. Obviously we’re still giving up more goals than we’d like. Everybody wants to get a shutout every game, but that’s not always feasible. At the end of the day, we’re now scoring goals, which when I first came over we were scoring maybe, if we were lucky, a goal a game. We were thinking to ourselves, ‘where are the goals going to come from?’ But a lot of guys have stepped up and have started scoring. That takes the pressure off of us in the back. Obviously we don’t want to make mistakes, but if a mistake does happen we know that the guys up front are going to pull their weight even more so and help us out and put something on the board. That makes us in the back want to fight harder and keep the guys and the goals out, more so than if they weren’t scoring goals. We know that if they’re going to pull their weight, we want to pull our weight. It’s kind of like a competition at the moment.”

ussoccer.com: U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden just returned to Bolton after rehabbing his right knee in Delaware. Have you had a chance to catch up with him during this rehab process?
TR: “I haven’t really sat down with him since he got back, but we’ve chatted back and forth about everything that he’s been doing stateside and what he has to continue to do here. He really wanted to be back and at least contribute a little bit with maybe two or three games to go. But I think he understands that it will probably be better for him in the long run if he takes all the time off that he needs and comes back even stronger than when he was. That’s probably a better situation for him and for the club.”

US MNT Visits the 911 Memorial

On Oct.10, the U.S. Men's National Team had the privilege to visit the 9/11 Memorial, spending an hour touring the site.

CAREER STATS     GP/GS            MIN         G              A             Pts              Y                R             W-L-T

2010                          1/1                 67          0              0               0                0               0             1-0-0
2011                          6/5              468          0              0               0                0               0             1-4-1
2014                          1/0                 45          0              0               0                0               0             1-0-0
_______________________________________________________________________________________
3-Year Totals           8/6              845           3               1               7                0               0             3-4-1

A promising centerback who displays good instincts and skill passing out of the back, Ream emerged as a player to watch for the future. One of the most consistent performers in MLS in 2010 amongst rookies and veterans alike, he started all 30 games for New York Red Bulls and helped the team to a regular season Eastern Conference title. Ream capped off his stellar rookie campaign with a starting appearance for the USA in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town in November 2010.

  • Collected a career-high six caps for the U.S. in 2011, including two starts in the CONCACAF Gold Cup
  • Made his first U.S. appearance when he paired with Clarence Goodson in central defense in the 2010 Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Started 33 games in all competitions for the New York Red Bulls in 2010, the most on the team, and was a finalist for the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Award
2011: Reached career highs for both games played (6) and games started (5) … Played the full 90 minutes in each game he started, including the U.S.’s first two matches in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, against Canada and Panama … 2010: Started in his first ever call up to the national team, helping the U.S. to a 1-0 win against South Africa on Nov. 17 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Cape Town … First Appearance: Nov. 17, 2010 vs. South Africa … First Goal: None.
2011: Started all 31 games in which he featured for the Red Bulls in the regular season and playoffs … Added an assist in the 2-2 tie against the New England Revolution on Aug. 20 … 2010: A finalist for the 2010 MLS Rookie of the Year Award … Ended his first professional season starting all 30 league matches and helped New York capture its second regular season Eastern Conference title … Made his professional debut on March 27, 2010, vs. the Chicago Fire … On Sept. 11, 2010, Ream scored his first professional goal against the Colorado Rapids … Drafted in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.
Majored in business administration ... Is an avid fan of the NHL’s St. Louis Blues … Was a two-time letter-winner in high school in basketball ... Parents are Scott and Patty Ream ... Father and two brothers played soccer at the collegiate level ... One of five siblings ... Best skill outside of soccer is cooking.
Played four seasons at Saint Louis University … Earned the 2009 Atlantic 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award after contributing a career-high six goals and five assists while helping the team to post seven shutouts … Was a NSCAA Third Team All-American selection as a senior … Featured in 82 games during his career, missing just one match … Was a three-time NSCAA First Team All-Mid Atlantic Region selection.
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