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Danny Williams sent off in Reading loss to Fulham


Soccer: International Men's Soccer Friendly-Brazil at USA Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Fulham rolled to a 5-0 win over Reading in a league match at Craven Cottage. Reading snapped a five-match winning streak with the loss. The Royals are in third place in the EFL Championship, five points behind Bright & Hove Albion for an automatic promotion spot.

U.S. national team midfielder Danny Williams was sent off in the 54th minute for violent conduct after “lashing out at [Stefan] Johansen after the two had contested a 50-50 ball,” according to Fulham’s website.

Reading’s official match recap is a little more ambiguous:

Danny Williams tussled on the byline with Johansen and the Fulham midfielder went to ground appealing for a kick. Referee Oliver Langford took his time to make a decision and eventually produced a straight red for the Royals midfielder.

Williams apologized to Reading fans on his personal Instagram account:

First of I would like to apologize to my teammates and the fans (who were fantastic today despite our bad performance) for my reaction after being stepped on my leg. Personally I think it was a very very harsh decision and sometimes officials should have a better understanding of the game. I have never conceded a straight red card in my career and I definitely would never have the intention of injuring another player on purpose. We will bounce back from this defeat and we will come back stronger like we have shown in the past. Thank you again for your amazing support!

Williams is currently on the fringe on the national team pool, but could always work his way back into the picture. Jurgen Klinsmann mainstays Kyle Beckerman and Jermaine Jones are in their mid-30s, so it would be prudent to at least audition younger players ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

The 27-year old Williams has 22 caps with the USMNT and recently told American Soccer Now that he is “pretty confident [he] can show [Bruce Arena] what qualities [he] can bring to the team.”

Williams wasn’t the only fringe national team player on the field. Fellow American Tim Ream started at center back for Fulham. The 29-year old St. Louis native joined The Cottagers last summer, signing a four-year deal after moving from Bolton.

Ream has struggled to find consistent playing time this season, appearing in nine league and three cup matches for a mid-table Fulham squad. In September, it was reported that he would be in MLS “sooner rather than later” if he was unable to get enough playing time in England.

Ream was another sporadic presence with Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team. He’s made 21 appearances with the USMNT, which includes spots on two Gold Cup squads (2011 and 2015) and a start in May’s friendly victory over Puerto Rico. With a new club or more playing time with Fulham, Ream could see increased call ups with a new national team manager.