Landon Donovan and Kyle Beckerman
Brad Smith/ISI

RSL's Beckerman proving to be perfect fit for new US

If you are wondering the reason for Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman’s resurgence with the US national team, you’ll likely come to two conclusions: First, he’s playing as well as any midfielder in the US pool right now; and second, Jurgen Klinsmann’s vision for the squad relies on a dedicated holding midfielder shielding the back line and acting as a tactical fulcrum. 

“I think Kyle Beckerman right now is in top form,” said Martin Vasquez, who heads the list of potential Klinsmann assistants. “Kyle Beckerman has come a long way. He’s a very mature player, very consistent. He’s a leader on the field and off the field.”

For RSL head coach Jason Kreis, Beckerman has been crucial this season at the club level, especially in the absence of playmaker Javier Morales. In addition to his normal defensive and organizational duties, Beckerman has become a bit of a regista in the Andrea Pirlo mold, generating offense from just in front of the back four.

“He’s become almost a playmaker for us, from a deeper position,” Kreis said after Tuesday’s training session. “All of the things that he’s been breaking up, and the ground that he’s covering have been phenomenal. He’s led this team in the exact right way, and at the exact right time.” 

But in addition to Beckerman’s form, Vasquez feels the premium Klinsmann puts on a lockdown holding midfielder, or a “No. 6,” is also a factor that’s led to the recent call-ups. 

“He has learned to play his position so well,” said Vasquez. “I would say probably one of the best, if not the best, No. 6 in MLS. I think that position, with all the best teams in the world — it’s a position that’s crucial. [They] have more defensive responsibilities, but also they can get into the attack and create chances. That’s right now where I think Kyle Beckerman is.”

Kreis believes that his team’s captain has earned the opportunity.

“He has toiled in this league and he has played extremely well for one of the best teams in this league for too long not to be part of the national team picture,” stated the RSL boss. "With the ball he’s been really, really good, and without the ball he’s been second to none in the league for me. I’m really pleased for him.” 

And Vasquez agrees that Beckerman has been deserving of the chances he’s gotten.

“I think what Kyle has shown is consistency and I think he will be, in my opinion, a part of the US national team,” Vasquez said.