TUCSON, Ariz. – Though it was hardly the result he was hoping for in his debut at the senior international level, Kyle Bekker’s first cap for the Canadian national team on Saturday bookended a memorable month for the college star.
First the standout Boston College midfielder turned heads by winning the MVP at the MLS Combine and then was selected No. 3 overall by hometown club Toronto FC at the MLS SuperDraft. He then turned in one of the few standout performances in Canada’s 4-0 loss to Denmark, and could get a second cap when Canada face the United States in Houston on Tuesday (9 pm ET, ESPN2 in the US, Sportsnet in Canada).
There will be no slowdown, as once he’s finished with national team duty, he starts off on a whole new adventure with his first MLS season.
“I think it’s just the beginning,” Bekker told reporters after Saturday’s game. “It’s my first call-up with the national team. I hope I have a few more and focus on the next game against the United States then head into preseason and look forward to the season.”
Bekker shared Canada’s central midfield with TFC teammate Terry Dunfield and played 67 minutes. In a game where Canada were forced to chase, Bekker was largely unable to assert his creative abilities, but on the rare occasion he did get the ball, his vision on the field was evident.
“It was a little up-and-down,” he said of his performance. “It was great to get the first cap and obviously get it out of the way, but I would have liked a better result.”
As one of six Canadian players who earned their first caps in Arizona, Bekker is part of the group of players who are in camp to learn about what’s required to play regularly at the international level. Against a Danish team that just had too much quality on the day, the 22-year-old was treated to something to which he could aspire.
“They were a very well organized side, just in their shape,” he sad. “Everything they were doing that had purpose and they stuck to it. They opened us up and they were patient with the ball and they were deadly with the ball when they wanted to attack.”