Beckerman to stay behind for US match vs. Costa Rica
SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman will remain with his club instead of reporting to US national team camp ahead of next week's Costa Rica friendly in Carson, Calif., MLSsoccer.com has learned.
RSL head coach Jason Kreis asked US Soccer for permission to retain Beckerman — who was recalled by Jurgen Klinsmann on Thursday — for Salt Lake's crucial Sept. 3 match against Philadelphia at Rio Tinto Stadium as the team looks to end a five-game stretch in which they've lost four times.
According to Kreis, RSL faced a crisis in the midfield for the Union game, which will see their list of injuries compounded by the international call-ups of Arturo Alvarez, Will Johnson and Jean Alexandre for World Cup qualifying matches.
"We looked at that game and said we can either play with three midfielders, put someone new into the midfield, try to change our entire tactical shape or we can ask Kyle if he’d consider not going,” Kreis explained to MLSsoccer.com at training on Friday.
Beckerman accepted his coach's wishes, but he will join up directly with the USMNT for their Sept. 6 trip to face Belgium in Brussels. The 29-year-old was named to Klinsmann's debut roster earlier this month for the US' 1-1 draw with Mexico. The veteran midfielder had been on the outside looking in under previous US coach Bob Bradley, but had seemingly found new life under Klinsmann, who put Beckerman in the starting lineup against Mexico and liked what he saw enough to give the RSL man a second call-up.
That made the request a difficult one for Kreis, who has special sympathy for Beckerman's situation.
"I was a player that was on the outside looking in almost my entire career," Kreis explained. "I understand that, but I do think that there are enough good feelings from Jurgen to Kyle that I think he’s already shown him enough that he’s going to be a part of the national team camps for a while to come.”
Beckerman accepted his coach's wishes, but seemed to be genuinely conflicted by the situation.
“It’s a tough situation for me to be in,” he told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “You want to be here with the team, but you want to be there [with the national team]. The door was closed for five years now, and now it’s finally open, and to give that up, it’s not something that I really like.
“Anytime you get in with a new coach, he’s looking at everything,” he continued. “This is an important time to show what you got, and make sure that you are showing him something that he can rely on game in and game out. Hopefully it won’t hinder me at all, but somebody’s going to have to play that position while I’m not there.”