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Kyle Beckerman: Midfield master, hero, and as important as ever

Kevin C. Cox

Our friends over at Stars and Stripes wrote this nice piece on somebody we love.

It's about Kyle Beckerman and how he allows those around him to play better. The biggest benefactor? Jermaine Jones, who has been as good as you can ask. We like that.

In fact, it's time to say this: I've been a Jones-doubter for a long time. But seeing him in front of Beckerman is so incredibly assuring, it's hard to doubt now. I mean, it's not really the time to doubt now, but not having reason to doubt is fantastic.

We just have to ask now: Will Michael Bradley step back to his best? I hope so. Germany looms.

That Stars and Stripes piece also makes mention of some nice stats from Beckerman, so lets go over some of those.

1. 88.6 percent passing tops the U.S. midfield. It's also puts him in the top 10 of midfielders — in the World Cup — to have played at least two games.

2. Three accurate long balls per game — he's not just playing the easy pass.

3. 44, the second-most passes attempted per game — behind Michael Bradley at 56.

4. Two tackles per game, two interceptions per game.

5. Only 2.5 clearances per game. Given his position and passing accuracy, this is notable.

Stats via WhoScoredSquawka