SANDY, Utah — Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman returned to the training pitch with his club on Thursday after spending a week away on duty with the US national team, but he wasn’t preparing for Friday’s Rocky Mountain Cup contest in Colorado.
Beckerman will miss the match, along with the season finale next week against Portland, as he serves an additional two-game suspension for a head butt he delivered to the Chicago Fire’s Daniel Paladini on Sept. 28.
“I’ve just got to play by the rules and just not make a mistake like I did ever again, and then I won’t have to worry about it,” Beckerman told MLSsoccer.com. “I just have to take the punishment and deal with it.”
Missing the match against the Rapids is perhaps even more of a disappointment for Beckerman, who could easily be the face of the rivalry. He’s played for (and served as captain) for both sides since the Rocky Mountain Cup's inception in 2005, and has been on the winning side of the Cup each year.
“It’s tough being out of these games,” he said. “They are always fun — high intensity and sometimes wild finishes. So they’re really fun to be a part of especially when we go to Colorado and a lot of our travelling fans come and really take up a good section of their stadium.”
Beckerman also lamented not being able to get more time playing with midfielder Javier Morales who recently returned from injury. But he’s resigned to the fact that he’s just “got to get whatever I can with Javier in practice.”
“If you look at, probably for me the two most critical matches we’ve played this year,” head coach Jason Kreis said, “the first being the CONCACAF final that was here and the second being this one [against Colorado], having [Beckerman] miss both of those games is difficult.”