On November 3rd, during Real Salt Lake’s final home match vs. Portland Timbers; Kyle Beckerman will be the next former player to be deservedly honored, following the footsteps of Javier Morales and Nick Rimando before him.
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Myself (Kreg Asay), and fellow staff writer Dave Cheever have been around long enough to remember when Beckerman joined the team. We both kicked around some memories which will hopefully also spark some of your own. Please comment below with your fondest memory of KB5!
DC: I clearly remember walking out to coach a weekly summer workout of my high school team on Tuesday, 17 July 2007 following the Beckerman / Ball…ouchy trade. It had been a major talking point between my sons and I following FHE the previous evening and as I walked around talking with the players it was a ongoing joke that RSL finally had someone who knew how to go out and really earn a red card instead of just randomly losing their mind. We also quickly set up a pool for how many games it would be until he would be wearing the captain’s armband. No offense to the current and prior players of that early era, but up until that point they had never really looked ready to establish a coherent identity for an extended run and move beyond being just be a collection of 11 players wearing the same jersey.
KA: I too remember Kyle joining, it was not long after my birthday in ‘07, and we didn’t get a lot of team news way down in the Southern reaches of Utah at that time. Fortunately the interwebz provided me enough to be able to follow scores, standings and trades as well as what league news came out back then. I can’t say I was overly thrilled at getting a former Rapids player, but that quickly changed after I saw him play a couple of games...
KA: There are a lot of fond memories I have of KB5, but two stand out for me.
The first was in March of 2012 RSL played the Timbers in the notoriously difficult Jeld-Wen field (now Providence Park). Saborio would net the opening goal in the 39th minute via an easy PK. Nagbe would equalize just after the half and scored again in the 65th to put the Timbers ahead. Steele would equalize in the 88th which set the stage for KB5 to step up. In the 93rd minute RSL was pressing hard and the Captain found himself completely open near the top of the box. He waved his arms to get Espindola’s attention, who casually lofted the ball inward. Beckerman took a leisurely trot forward, and connected with the ball in the air and sent it between two defenders and the outstretched arms of the keeper into the net to win the game.
DC: While he would score same great goals, my favorite was the volley off the woodwork to give RSL a 1-0 lead over the Sounders in June 2013 and become an assist leader.
KA: And sometime during that period he also found time to do a video series with Morales titled the Javi and Kyle show where they often interviewed fellow teammates. Few today know that it was a way to help Kyle to learn Spanish, and Javi English.
DC: It is his natural and unassuming leadership, albeit in terms of fouls on numerous occasions, that marks him as an RSL legend.
KA: My second fondest memory isn’t so joyous, that one is Kyle with Saborio after losing to Monterrey in the Champions League final. He didn’t play in due to suspension, but he still displayed leadership by coming down to console teammates devastated by the loss.
Captain Kyle, KB5, the Becker-bomber.
May your dreadlocks live forever in our hearts and minds.