Hometown Heros: Ream, Sargent looking forward to St. Louis, USMNT return

USMNT Tim Ream
CINCINNATI, OH β€” JUNE 09: Tim Ream (13) of the United States controls the ball in action during a friendly international match between the United States and Venezuela on June 09, 2019 at Nippert Stadium, in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

St. Louis, Missouri β€” It’s a homecoming for two members of the U.S. Men’s National Team. However, one member has been here before. Tim Ream was with the U.S. Men’s National Team when taking the field at Busch Stadium on Nov. 13, 2015, when the USMNT hosted St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Josh Sargent was there too, but not on the pitch.

“I was actually talking to Tim how they last time they played at Busch Stadium, I was up in the crowd watching them,” Sargent said, with a big grin. “It’s really exciting and it’ll be really cool… When I hard I was going to be on the roster to come back here, I was really excited. It’s every kid’s dream to play for the national team, especially to play in your home city. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Ream remembers that day well. It was the first time that he represented the USMNT in his hometown. He’s been in and out of the national team picture since 2010. However, now, he’s found his footing under Gregg Berhalter.

“Anytime you can play in your hometown is special,” Ream said. “To play in your hometown with the national team and represent your country is a pretty cool accomplishment. It’s a nice feeling. Being back, there’s a lot more media responsibilities than I usually have to do. It’s fun and nice t o be able to play in front of family and friends. It’s something that, personally, I don’t get to do very often.”

Ream plays his club soccer in England with Fulham. Last year, the team featured in the English Premier League. However, this year, they are in the Championship, England’s second-tier league, after being relegated.

Soccer history makes St. Louis special

Ream said that coming back to St. Louis is huge, especially since the city was just awarded an MLS expansion team.

“We’d be here all night, to be honest with you,” Ream said, when asked about soccer history in St. Louis. “Some will say it’s one of the most historic cities to start the game. Obviously, going back to the 1950s with the World Cup team that beat England… Multiple amateur cup and Open Cup championships. It’s just one of those places that you’re born into it. It’s just something that’s a part of every day life.”

Now, with an expansion team, St. Louis is gearing up for around the clock soccer. Sargent said that getting an MLS team was a long process, but congratulated everyone who got it done. He has a young career in Germany right now, featuring for Werder Bremen. However, he did say that playing in his hometown would be an incredible feeling.

Meanwhile, Ream has a chance to come home. It’s not uncommon for players in the United States to spend the early and middle part of their careers in Europe or outside of the country. Then, some come home. Others don’t.

Ream has a contract with Fulham until 2021, recently signing an extension. St. Louis is set to begin their MLS adventure in 2022.

“We thought it would happen a few times in the past 10 or so years,” Ream said. “I think a lot of people around the country, not just the MLS group, they wanted St. Louis in the league. It’s a natural fit with the history and everything that’s happened in the past. It’s a long time coming.”

Ream also complimented the all-female ownership group.

“There’s nothing like that in any major sport,” Ream said. “It’s a special time to be a soccer fan in St. Louis and a lot of special times to look ahead to.”

Ream, Sargent preview Uruguay

Sargent and Ream are going to have a lot of family in the stands. Currently, USMNT ticket sales are up to over 17,000 fans reported to fill the seats in Busch Stadium.

Ream said that the support from his family will be massive, as requests for tickets came to more than 70 from his father.

“The only thing I had to do was put my dad in touch with group sales and my sister-in-law with group sales,” Ream said. “The last I hear, my dad was up to close to 70 within two weeks of the announcement… There will be a pretty strong family contingent in the stadium on Tuesday.”

However, Ream and Sargent will be focused on Uruguay. Ream said that he’s not expecting them to press as high as Mexico did in the 3-0 loss in New Jersey.

“They’re No. 5 in the world for a reason,” Ream said. “They’re going to have quality all over the field and they have good attacking talent, even with guys like [Luis] Suarez not being here. We know they’ll be solid defensively and hard to break down.”

Meanwhile, Sargent β€” who guessed that he’ll need 60 tickets to cover family and friends β€” said that he’d step up again and take a penalty again, after missing one against Mexico.

“We watched video and I think our build up out of the back could improve,” Sargent said. “We gave away a couple goals in that sense, so we’ll look to improve that and apply it to Uruguay. Hopefully we’ll have a better result.”

The Match Details

Tomorrow night the U.S. Men’s National Team will host Uruguay at Busch Stadium. The contest won’t kick off until around 8 p.m. EST. Ream and Sargent will likely get the start, with Berhalter likely resting most of his MLS players.

 

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