NEW YORK – Real Salt Lake will play the final two games of the regular season without Kyle Beckerman while he serves a two-game suspension for an on-field incident last week against the Chicago Fire.
Beckerman – who is currently on duty with the US national team but was expected to return to RSL’s lineup for two league games later this month – was issued the additional two-game suspension by the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee on Friday for headbutting Chicago Fire midfielder Daniel Paladini during a match on Sept. 28.
Beckerman was issued a straight red card on the play and served the mandatory one-game suspension during RSL’s 2-1 loss to the LA Galaxy on Oct. 1.
The Disciplinary Committee also fined Beckerman $1,000 after it determined that his actions were completely outside the scope of the game and demonstrated utter disregard for the safety of his opponent.
Beckerman will miss both the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry match at the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 14, as well as the season finale on Oct. 22 at home against the Portland Timbers.
The US national-teamer has started 27 games this season for RSL and appeared in 29, notching three goals and career-high nine assists. RSL are 1-2 without their captain in the mix in recent weeks, including the loss at LA, a 3-1 win at New York on Sept. 21 and a 3-0 loss at the Vancouver Whitecaps on Thursday.
The red card was just the second in Beckerman’s 12-year career, and first with RSL since joining the club in 2007.
“It’s not like me,” Beckerman said in the days following the Paladini incident. “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.”'
Real Salt Lake are currently in third place in the Western Conference and have already clinched a playoff spot, but have lost four consecutive matches.