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US national team, World Cup player profile: Kyle Beckerman

May 30, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Beckerman is key to stopping Germany's offense from clicking into life. Getty Images

Real Salt Lake’s captain has been grinding away in Major League Soccer his entire career. Finally, he’s getting the credit he deserves. Beckerman, 32, will be taking part in his first World Cup and has been in and out of the U.S. national team setup over the years. You know exactly what you will get from him.

MORE: USMNT player profiles

Calm and composed in front of the back four, Beckerman has played for the Miami Fusion, Colorado Rapids and RSL with the same tenacity and guile which has led him all the way to the national team. A skilled warrior in the engine room.

Full name: Kyle Robert Beckerman

Age: 32

Hometown: Crofton, Maryland

Position: Central midfield

Caps/goals: 35 caps, 1 goal

Club: Real Salt Lake

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Despite scoring his one and only national team goal during the 2009 Gold Cup campaign… Beckerman’s best performances in the Stars and Stripes came in the 2013 Gold Cup. Beckerman played five out of the USA’s six game son the way to winning the tournament and the way he swept up in front of the back four and marshaled the midfield was superb. You felt like Jurgen Klinsmann gained plenty of respect for the way Beckerman plays last summer. A key cog in the USMNT’s success.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Beckerman will go to the World Cup as cover for Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley, the first-choice central midfield partnership. However with his superb displays for Real Salt Lake in midfield, the dreadlocked genius could well come into the starting XI if things go pear-shaped against Ghana in the World Cup opener. He has the ability to spray a pass, break the play up and dictate the temp of a game. An MLS legend who is finally getting the chance he deserved with the national team.

  1. grm35741 - May 30, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I am excited to see Kyle get time in the run up. I don’t see Jones value the way others do. The number of errant passes last week confirmed my concerns.

    Yes, Kyle often goes back with his passes and plays conservative but he keeps the ball! Can you imagine what Portugal will do with the constant giveaways. Kyle is very strong breaking up play and that is all the good I see in Jones.

    I believe he will support Bradley better, he will stay behind better and allow Bradley the freedom he needs. Jones went forward so much last week Bradley had to come back to get the ball from the back four. I hope Jurgen gives him a go.

  2. mdac1012 - May 30, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    I respect Kyle Beckerman for his perserverance and he is a good to very good MLS player, but the words “genius” and “legend” should never be used in the same sentience when describing him as a player. When it comes to international play the words “serviceable” and “stop-gap” I think are more accurate.

  3. godsholytrousers - May 30, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I rate his combination play with Bradley as far better than the Jones Bradley pairing.

    • mdac1012 - May 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      I agree, that’s because Jones doesn’t like to stay in the hole and has a tendency to come forward, while Beckerman doesn’t and provides better cover for Bradley, especially in the diamond formation. It still doesn’t make Beckerman a genius or a legend on the pitch because he can follow a gameplan better than Jones.

  4. braxtonrob - May 30, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Beckerman should start (IMO) against Turkey, and if the chemistry is visible between him and Bradley, then I think he takes the #1 slot (at CDM) from Jones.

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