The man wearing the captain's armband every week for Real Salt Lake isn't in doubt. It'll be Kyle Beckerman, every time he's available.
But sometimes, he's just not going to play. Whether that's for injury or international absences, a clear delineation of captain responsibilities becomes an important exercise when looking at the roster.
Here are five players that could take the armband in a given week that might be able to fill the role.
5. Luke Mulholland
It's important for any potential captain to bring a certain leadership quality to the role, as without that, you might as well have a robot captain. It really wouldn't matter who you chose, so long as they can communicate.
Luke Mulholland does bring some of that leadership. He's also a player we know at Real Salt Lake — he's been here for four years. He gets the team, and for any of his faults, he's certainly not lacking passion and desire.
4. Chris Wingert
One of the best aspects a good captain can bring — after leadership, of course — is experience. Wingert brings both of those things, but it's the experience that sets him apart from his colleagues. He's been there, and he's done that — at least in MLS.
Unfortunately, a good captain should also be a near-certain starter. Wingert, at this point in his career, isn't.
3. Nick Rimando
Yes, Nick Rimando is a veteran of this team and the league. Yes, he's going to hold players accountable. But he almost doesn't make this list for one simple fact: He's a goalkeeper.
That doesn't mean that goalkeepers can't make good captains, but it does mean it's difficult. Part of a good captaincy involves talking with referees and communicating the complaints of your team. Rimando can do that, but not from inside the goal. We'd need some sort of co-captaincy setup to really solve that.
2. Yura Movsisyan
Rumor-mongering is never helpful, but I think it was plain to see that in 2016, Movsisyan was rarely on the same page as Javier Morales and Juan Manuel Martinez. Was that down to tactics, personality or some other conflict? That's hard to say.
Whatever the case, we've seen Movsisyan double down on his leadership this offseason. He's been vocal, and he holds the right fiery attitude that we've seen from Beckerman.
Movsisyan isn't a clear-cut choice, but he's certainly a contender. He'll fight for this team and his teammates, and he's hardly afraid to get his point across.
1. Tony Beltran
A long-time veteran of the club and a sure starter since 2011, Beltran represents the club on and off the field well. When his frustration boils over — it's rare, although we saw a few instances of that as last season drew to a close — it's rarely the sort of thing that makes you question his captaincy credentials.
His personality is certainly not too much like Beckerman's. Beckerman snarls, shouts and is generally the conductor of much trash talking. Beltran? He'll make his case adamantly, and he'll make sure that he calls teammates out when it's truly warranted. But the similarities more or less end there.
Beltran is my top pick for the captaincy outside of Beckerman, but he doesn't represent new blood. He's very much part of the successful veteran corps that helped define this team.