Saturday's national team friendly against South Korea pitted Kyle Beckerman against a surprisingly difficult group, even in spite of the 2-0 win the US found.
It's easy to imagine that Jurgen Klinsmann is pretty close to solidifying his 2014 World Cup roster, and Saturday's match won't have changed anything too radically in that regard, aside from perhaps a continuation of the Chris-Wondolowski-for-Brazil argument.
It may be nothing close to a surprise in Salt Lake City, but Beckerman might just have sealed his spot for the World Cup. He played with his trademark simple approach and an efficiency we see consistently here. With 64 of 70 passes completed (a remarkable 91 percent passing rate), Beckerman put up numbers consistent with his Real Salt Lake contributions.
Beckerman's familiarity with the role is what allows him performances like these, but he also has an innate and undeniable propensity for maintaining calm in possession. Sure, his passing ability is great -- he played some markedly creative passes that helped push play forward -- and he's a good tackler, but that's not what could send him to Brazil. Those are features many players possess.
It's that Beckerman, when tasked with maintaining possession from his deep spot, doesn't overcomplicate things. Intelligence as a player is valuable (and Beckerman is an intelligent player -- that's hard to dispute), but being able to control the match and his impact on it is another entirely.
The best bet for Beckerman in Brazil is that he'd serve as the third-choice midfielder in that deeper position. Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones may be slightly ahead of him, but both have changed clubs in the last month. While the two moves do look positive on the surface, there's always risk associated with that.
Even as a third-choice midfielder, Beckerman would be likely to go. In the 23-man squad, three midfielders for a position in which we play two routinely is only a start.
There's room for him in the squad, and he'd offer a lot. It's hard to imagine that Kyle Beckerman, especially after Saturday's performance, isn't going to Brazil.