LEHI, Utah — Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman is full of regret over his red-card ejection on Wednesday night against the Chicago Fire in front of a home sellout crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The RSL captain told MLSsoccer.com after practice on Thursday that he felt like he let himself, the fans, his teammates and even the league down when he delivered an ill-advised head butt to Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini in an eventual 3-0 loss.
“It’s not like me,” Beckerman said. “It’s not something I’ve done in the past. It was just something out of nowhere, and I just feel bad and sorry to not only our fans here, but also to the league because I feel that we’re really trying to grow this league, and it’s grown a ton but that type of play has no place here in our games in MLS.
"I made a mistake and I just split-second made a decision that was really hurtful to the team. And so I’m sorry for that.”
Although Beckerman is not one to shy away from confrontation, the red card is indeed out of character. Wednesday was just the second time in his 12 seasons in MLS that he had drawn a straight red, the last one coming in 2003 when he was playing with the Colorado Rapids.
“It was a huge shock to me, a huge shock to Kyle, and I think a huge shock to the team,” head coach Jason Kreis told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s really unlike him. Obviously we know he’s a real passionate player and doesn’t mind getting stuck in, but usually it’s with some purpose. I think last night he just lost his cool for a brief moment, and made a very costly mistake.”
The mistake not only meant that the squad played a man down for the majority of last night’s match, but they’ll also be missing the services of the influential player for a key battle against the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center on Saturday. Beckerman also potentially could miss additional time with his squad for international duty as Jurgen Klinsmann recalled him for the US' two upcoming friendlies against Honduras and Ecuador on Oct. 8 and 11, respectively.
But neither of those opportunities seemed important to the sorrowful 29-year-old, who only appeared concerned with his recent actions.
“For most of my career, I’ve been able to not do anything stupid like that,” Beckerman said. “Last night was one of those freak moments that I let get away from me. I’m sorry for that, and embarrassed. I’ll do everything I can to not let it happen again.”