The first few months of the Jurgen Klinsmann era certainly had its ups and downs, but that should be expected. When a new coach is brought in, he needs time to see what he has to work with, to implement his philosophies, and to see what works and what doesn’t, and as impatient as some are to see instant results, that process is still very much in its infancy for Klinsmann.

But after ending 2011 with an away win against 2010 World Cup foe Slovenia, there is positive momentum, and with 2014 World Cup qualifying and a slate of friendlies that’s already set to include matches against Brazil and Italy, two ties that are sure to attract a lot of football betting, we’re going to learn a lot this year about where things are headed and who’s in Klinsmann’s plans for now and for the future.

The likes of Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, and Tim Howard will remain automatic selections for the foreseeable future, and for good reason. But there are several places that aren’t as solidified, which means there is an opportunity for a number of players to step up and state their case.

There are some who haven’t yet had an opportunity to establish themselves but have the talent and potential to, and there are others who’ve been in and out of the national team picture but still have time on their side to get back in the fold and stay there.

Among that bunch is New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream, who picked up six caps in 2011, the last of which came in the 1-0 defeat to Ecuador in October. The 24-year-old had his struggles in national team action, but he still has the potential to be a key player for the U.S. sooner rather than later. Ream is expected to sign for English Premier League side Bolton sometime before the end of the January transfer window, and such a move will prove massive for his national team prospects for the short and long-term future.

It’s a giant leap to go from MLS to the Premier League, but the move itself should be a significant boost for Ream’s confidence, and if he takes full advantage of this opportunity of a lifetime, he could soon cement his place as a key player for his country. And there’s a real chance he could make an immediate impact for Bolton, who currently sit in the relegation places. Bolton have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having allowed 46 goals in 21 games, and they just sold their star defender, Gary Cahill, to Chelsea, so Owen Coyle could throw Ream right into the fire.

Ream may have only two MLS seasons under his belt, and he’s far from the finished product, so there may be concerns that it’s too early for him to move to a top European league. But at 24, the time is right, and he will become better, tougher, and more polished, and if he can hold his own in England, especially in a tense relegation scrap, it certainly bodes well for his prospects to hold his own with the national team as well. Online betting fans, with TAB Sportsbet or Luxbet, could to worse than have a flutter on Ream making 100 appearances for the club.
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