Another season in the books, Kyle Beckerman already looking ahead to 2019

Kyle Beckerman - RSLvHOU - 2018-05-30

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman felt the 2018 season turned out to be a few weeks too short. The good news is that he still had a few more weeks left in the tank.

“I feel good. I feel like I could have gone a couple extra weeks this year and hopefully it’s just rest for next year,” Beckerman said.

The promise of another season with this young core of players has the 36-year-old remembering earlier times when a younger, dreadlocked Beckerman patrolled the midfield for RSL, but it also demonstrates the passage of time.

“Just trying to build a foundation with this group,” Beckerman said. “I did it a long time ago. I was bit younger. Now I’m older with a different group, but a lot of similarities.”

Joining RSL in a shock trade from the Colorado Rapids back in the summer of 2007, Beckerman and fellow mainstay Nick Rimando have been the constants in the club for the interim. They've seen the good times and not-so-good times, and with a new cycle of youngsters as well as many Homegrown players making major contributions in 2018, Beckerman thinks there has been considerable progress within the team.

“What showed out of this group is guys were able to step up and become impact players and players that took on more responsibility than they had at the beginning of the season,” Beckerman said. “It gets thrown upside down at times and it’s just what you’re made of. We didn’t think Brooks [Lennon] would play right back for us. Aaron [Herrera] stepped in at the left. No one saw Corey [Baird] doing what he did. It’s just great for the future of this team.”

With that progress, what's next? The midfielder says mental strength and consistency are next on the list.

“A lot of it is learning mentality, learning to win, learning to come back from games, and winning on the road,” Beckerman said. “When you become a better team you’re improving not just on skills but on mindset.”

While it took almost the full season to learn how to win on the road, in the end RSL put it to use in the playoffs. That experience will pay off even more down the line.

“When we got in and got to test ourselves in a playoff format and get past the first round against LAFC it was something you can’t teach,” Beckerman said. “Now when we get into these positions, we’ll be one year better, but we have gone through it and will have that confidence to go [further].”

As you would expect with a player, it's not up to Beckerman to recruit and sign other players, and he's gearing up for the season ahead with whoever suits up in the Claret-and-Cobalt.

“I’m fine with the team we have here,” Beckerman said. “We showed we can compete with the top teams in the league. I’m not going to be down if we bring in someone who has scored 20 goals before, but if it doesn’t happen, I’m still ready to go to battle with those guys and feel confident that we can get better next season.”