Good God, would someone take the air out Tim Ream’s tires or barricade his apartment door for a couple days so Gregg Berhalter will stop picking him for the national team?
Berhalter unveiled his first squad for next week’s World Cup qualifying today, and there’s not too much to complain about and not too many surprises. Except for Ream. You would have thought Ream’s one-man campaign to hand the Nations League Final to Mexico would have ended his international career. But nope. He’s back.
This is why we need Pep Guardiola in 2026.
And the worrying thing is that thanks to FIFA’s and CONCACAF’s need to cram an unmanageable amount of games into these windows (three in six days) everyone in the squad is going to have to play. And while this isn’t the toughest slate the U.S. will face during the campaign, it might not really have any layups either. Away games in CONCACAF are always an adventure, and Honduras is always a tough trip. Canada at home should be a win, but I don’t need to see Jonathan David bearing down on Ream if I’m hoping to keep my indigestion problems manageable. Maybe at El Salvador is the escape route.
Other than that, it’s about what you’d expect. The squad is light on midfielders, with only five named, which might lead one to think that Berhalter is going to play a lot of 3-4-3 to only have to use two of them at once. Or maybe Aaronson can play at the head of a midifield in one game in a 4-3-3. A little bit of a brow-raiser to not see Matthew Hoppe named, as he could be a difference-maker off the bench, but it’s also hard to see which forward he’d replace. Especially as the U.S. is trying to convince 18-year-old Ricardo Pepi his international future is in red, white, and blue, and not in el tricolor.
So it begins...