What Does Beckerman Bring?

A few thoughts on the unique style Kyle Beckerman brings to RSL, USMNT
by Whitney OBannon   |   Thursday, September 12, 2013

Kingdom of Salt - column on Real Salt Lake (RSL) & the Salt Lake City Utah soccer scene

Kyle Beckerman proves doubters wrong every time he takes to the pitch.

Many spectators doubt Beckerman's rise to stardom. They doubt his call up to the U.S. Men’s National Team for qualifying play and the possibility of him making the World Cup's 23-man roster. But after his play in Tuesday night's 2-0 victory over Mexico, and the successful CONCACAF Gold Cup run, Beckerman is solidifying his merit as part of the national team.

Real Salt Lake noticed the same qualities that make him a good candidate for the U.S. back in 2007, when RSL traded for Beckerman. RSL manager Jason Kreis will openly admit he was not the midfielder's biggest fan early on. However as soon as Kreis saw Beckerman's true personality and leadership, his faith in his now captain grew quickly.

Over the last 7 seasons Kreis, as well as the rest of RSL nation, found trust in Beckerman. He became a leader for RSL and helped transform a struggling program into the current No. 1 team in MLS.

Despite playing a full 90 minutes for the U.S. earlier this week against Mexico, Beckerman promised he will be ready to start for Real Salt Lake in Seattle on Friday. The RSL captain refuses to take a break.

In the 2013 season, Beckerman played a full month of Gold Cup games with U.S. Soccer, started extra games with RSL in the US Open Cup tournament and also participated in the MLS All-Star game. He never once told Kreis that he was too tired to play. His endurance is a definite positive quality.

Beckerman possess such strength as a leader on the field. He connects the new guys to the veterans, the young guys to the old guys. One of RSL's obvious strengths this season is its team chemistry and apparent brotherhood. Beckerman is vital glue that holds the team together in the RSL locker room and on the field.

He also has a remarkable game-time focus. A video segment produced by MLS 36 highlighted Beckerman's preparations before, during and after a game. The defensive midfielder has a laid back personality in his casual life, but as soon as the switch is flipped to soccer his attitude is completely altered. He has such an intense focus that every part of him — mind, body and spirit — is tuned into the game. The rest of the team consequently feeds off this intensity and passion.

Beckerman has proved his worth not from a fancy step-over and a few showy tricks, but by being a team player. He never puts his own desire to score a goal or show up a defender before the needs of his team. He has a unique ability to read the game and automatically knows where the ball should be at all times. The RSL captain is so in tune with his teammates, whether it be the Claret and Cobalt or the USMNT, that he knows where they are and can place the ball at their feet with precision on nearly every pass.

These are all qualities that can rarely be taught. Beckerman is a natural born leader and the game of soccer is his avenue. Although the RSL squad is talented and every one of the players on the bench is dangerous, there is no questioning the benefits of calling Beckerman captain.

NEXT UP: September 13 – Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders, CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA. 10 p.m. EST, NBC Sports.


University of Utah
Club Domestic:
Real Salt Lake
Club Foreign:
Manchester United
Although a Colorado native, RSL stole Whitney's heart. She played soccer since age 4 and after attending a RSL match, she fell in love with the game all over again. Also writes for Deseret News and is nearly a black belt.