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Player Profiles, #4: Kyle Beckerman hits new heights, continues improvement

Kyle Beckerman had a milestone year with many accomplishments and well-deserved accolades. He's ranked fourth in our 2014 player profiles, and as usual, we can't stop heaping praise on the captain.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Beckerman, the long-time captain of Real Salt Lake and the guy that deserves as much credit as anyone for turning RSL around, had one of the best if not the best year of his career.

The highlight of Beckerman's 2014 season is his World Cup call-up. Not only did Kyle Beckerman earn a spot on the most competitive stage, he played really well and finally earned the respect of those that had some strange bias against the RSL captain.

He was featured across a spectrum of national and international media including the Huffington Post, USA Today, and the Dan Patrick show. He was an essential piece for the U.S. Men's National Team in Brazil and it could be argued that he was one of their best players on the field. What a fun time it was to watch Kyle represent his club and country.

As for club play, Beckerman did not get any sort of break. He logged higher than his average minutes played over the past eight seasons with RSL and was consistently good. What might be the most incredible thing about Beckerman is that he keeps getting better every year. He once again led his team to the Playoffs and helped them qualify for CONCACAF Champions League.

He tallied three goals and three assists and was unlucky to not have more. His best play of the season in my opinion was against Toronto FC in which he, Javier Morales, and Alvaro Saborio had a build up play that resulted in a beautiful goal against the sexiest team in the league at the time, Toronto FC.

Nobody in MLS plays the defensive midfield position as well as he does. I would argue that few players around the world play the position as well as he does. Not only is he a lock-down, smart defender, but he can push forward and distribute to his teammates with precision. He is a selfless player, as described by MLS and U.S. great, Landon Donovan.

Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2014 season and previewing the 2015 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.