Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran and Nick Rimando finally returned to Salt Lake on Thursday, coming back to the Claret-and-Cobalt after spending the last month with the U.S. national team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the MLS All-Stars for Wednesday’s All-Star Game.
Here are a few interesting numbers from the trio’s stint away from RSL.
Beckerman, Beltran and Rimando spent 32 days away from RSL, leaving the team on June 30 following the club’s 1-0 win at Toronto FC before returning to Salt Lake on Thursday. RSL played four matches while the trio was gone, posting a 1-2-1 record against Philadelphia, Dallas, Kansas City and New York.
Beckerman, Rimando and Beltran combined to play 1,102 minutes while away from RSL. Rimando totaled the most minutes of the trio, playing 450 minutes in the Gold Cup and 45 in Wednesday’s All-Star Game. Beckerman wasn’t far behind notching 382 minutes – and three assists – for the U.S. and starting and playing the first 45 in the ASG. Beltran totaled 180 minutes, going the full 90 in both the U.S.’s win over Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 13 and in the All-Star Game on Wednesday night.
RSL’s international/All-Star trio flew a distance of 10,954 miles over the last month. Assuming they were all non-stop, here are the nine flights KB5, Tony and Nick were on during the last month:
Toronto to San Diego; San Diego to Portland; Portland to Salt Lake City; Salt Lake City to Hartford; Hartford to Baltimore; Baltimore to Dallas; Dallas to Chicago; Chicago to Kansas City; Kansas City to Salt Lake City
That’s a lot of frequent flyer miles, all four time zones and way too many hotel rooms.
Between Sunday’s Gold Cup Final, Wednesday’s All-Star Game, Saturday’s MLS match at Colorado and Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match against Portland, Beckerman and Rimando – Beltran is suspended for this weekend’s Rocky Mountain Cup match – will be eligible to play in four different competitions in a span of just 11 days.
When Beckerman, Beltran and Rimando left RSL after the team’s 1-0 win at Toronto, RSL was in first-place in MLS. Despite two-straight losses, that’s exactly where the Claret-and-Cobalt stand now, with three of the team’s top players returning to the fold.
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman skipped out on the usual halftime team talk at Wednesday's All-Star Game, ditching ASG Head Coach Peter Vermes' tactics discussion for a Google+ hangout with fans at Sporting Park.
Beckerman - who started and played the entire first half before getting subbed out at halftime - got a couple pretty off-the-wall questions, including one a piece from Sporting KC forwards Soony Saad and Dom Dwyer. Saad tried to get KB5 fired up, but Kyle - ever the savvy vet - didn't take the bait, putting the young striker in his place.
Check out Beckerman's entire Google+ hangout above.
Real Salt Lake has a solid history in the MLS All-Star Game, with Claret-and-Cobalt players seeing the field in five previous iterations of the match, including each of the last four.
That streak will extend to five on Wednesday night, when Kyle Beckerman will start for the MLS All-Stars against AS Roma at 7:00 p.m. MT at Sporting Parkon ESPN2 and UniMas. Fellow RSL All-Stars Tony Beltran and Nick Rimando could also see time in the match, though All-Star Head Coach Peter Vermes has already indicated that Rimando won't be starting.
Here's how RSL's All-Stars have fared on the field in past All-Star Games:
July 19, 2007 - The MLS All-Stars took on Scottish side Celtic FC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, winning 2-0. Eddie Pope registered Salt Lake’s first All-Star minutes when he replaced Michael Parkhurst in the 83rd minute.
July 29, 2009 – The Rio Tinto Stadium All-Star Game saw three Real Salt Lake players take part in MLS’s penalty kick shootout loss, with Kyle Beckerman starting the game and playing the first half, Will Johnson entering for Beckerman and scoring in the shootout and Javier Morales coming on in the 64th minute.
July 28, 2010 - Facing European power Manchester United, Javier Morales and Jamison Olave started and Nick Rimando cleaned up in Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s Man. United debut, a 5-2 loss for MLS in Houston.
July 27, 2011 - Again playing the Red Devils but this time in New York, Jamison Olave made it a third-straight year with a RSL man in the First XI, famously besting Wayne Rooney in a foot race. Unfortunately, Olave got hurt shortly after chasing down Rooney, spraining his knee and missing five games upon his return to RSL. Kyle Beckerman also played, entering the match in the second half for Shalrie Joseph as the All-Stars fell 4-0.
July 25, 2012 - Squaring off against Chelsea at PPL Park, Kyle Beckerman represented the Claret-and-Cobalt as a sub, notching the game-winning assist on Seattle forward Eddie Johnson’s 91st minute goal to give the All-Stars a 3-2 win.
Real Salt Lake has had its fair share of solid moments in the MLS All-Star Game over the years.
Here are a few of the Claret-and-Cobalt’s best moments from the ASG ahead of tonight’s match between the MLS All-Stars and AS Roma. Enjoy.
July 25, 2012: Kyle Beckerman delivers the game-winning assist to Seattle forward Eddie Johnson in the 91st minute of the All-Stars' 3-2 win over Chelsea FC.
July 27, 2011: The MLS All-Stars lost 4-0 to Manchester United at Red Bull Arena, but RSL defender Jamison Olave had a very memorable moment, showing tremendous speed to catch and then win the ball from Wayne Rooney in the first half of the match. Unfortunately, Olave sprained his knee later in the match, missing five games due to the injury.
July 29, 2009: Rio Tinto Stadium played host to the 2009 MLS All-Star Game with a sold-out crowd of 20,124 packing the RioT to see the MLS All-Stars fall in penalty kicks to English Premier League club Everton FC. Three RSL players saw action in the match, with Kyle Beckerman starting the game and playing the first 45, Will Johnson coming on for Beckerman and nailing a PK in the shootout and Javier Morales subbing on in the 64th minute.
Kyle Beckerman: RSL captain, U.S. international, MLS All-Star and best rapper in the league.
A bit of breaking news ahead of tomorrow's AT&T MLS All-Star Game, courtesy of soccer media maven Grant Wahl:
MLS All-Star coach Peter Vermes on live now on @SiriusXMFC 94. Says he's starting Beckerman, Davis, W. Johnson plus Henry, Zusi, Fernández.
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 30, 2013
There you have it: According to what Sporting Kansas City/MLS All-Star Head Coach Peter Vermes told Wahl on Sirius XM radio on Tuesday afternoon, Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman will start Wednesday's All-Star Game against Italian side AS Roma.
According to Wahl's tweet, Vermes also said that Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez will start in net for the All-Stars. That means no Nick Rimando in between the pipes for the All-Stars from the outset. Might we see him make a second half cameo?
No word yet as to whether or not RSL right back Tony Beltran is in Vermes's First XI.
The MLS All-Stars will take on Roma at Sporting Park at 7:00 p.m. MT on Wednesday night on ESPN2.
I know, I know, some of you might not like it, but both Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando chose Landon Donovan when asked by MLSsoccer.com at Tuesday's All-Star practice which fellow All-Star they'd like to take back to their team.
True to RSL's "Team is the Star" mentality, neither Beckerman nor Rimando opted to kick anyone off of the Claret-and-Cobalt.
Looks like RSL's Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran and Nick Rimando caught up with ex-RSL man Will Johnson in Kansas City on Monday night ahead of Wednesday's MLS AT&T All-Star Game against Italian side AS Roma.
The four seem to be lost in a riveting conversation... Maybe things are just too awkward for them now that their respective clubs are battling it out at the top of the Western Conference table and are set to meet three times this month. We're guessing they'll all show a little more emotion next Wednesday, Aug. 7, when Johnson and the Timbers come to town to take on the Claret-and-Cobalt at Rio Tinto Stadium in the Semifinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
In case you didn't notice, the 2013 MLS All-Star team was announced on Monday, with the game taking place on July 31st in Kansas City. With the announcement of the team - headed by Kansas City coach Peter Vermes - there follows inevitable hand-wringing from pundits about snubs - players who deserved to make the All-Star team but didn't.
Some snubs that immediately come to mind are RSL's Ned Grabavoy, LA's Marcelo Sarvas, and Philadelphia's Jack McInerney, but they aren't the biggest surprises. While Vermes did RSL fans a solid by naming Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran, and Kyle Beckerman to the team, the omission of Javier Morales shocked me the most, and his snub is the subject of this post. Nothing I can write is going to get Morales added to the roster, but it does provide the opportunity to recognize a player who is having a phenomenal year.
How good has Morales' year been so far? Consider this: His five goals are tied with Olmes Garcia for the team lead, and his eight assists are far and away the most on the team. At this pace, he'll finish the season with nine goals and 15 assists. In 2009, Morales had one goal and five assists. In 2010, Morales had seven goals and nine assists. Why did I choose 2009 and 2010 as points of reference? Because Javi made the All-Star team both those years.
Granted, 2009 and 2010 were different times in MLS. It seems that lately more teams have seen the value in a true No. 10 and more teams have spent money on that position. So clearly the bar is higher for Morales than it was back in those days.
But in spite of all the young talent and big-name players that now quarterback offenses; the evidence suggests that Morales is still at the top of the class. As mentioned above, Morales has scored five goals and dished out eight dimes so far this year. New York's Tim Cahill has five goals and three assists. Portland (and ex-RSL) man Will Johnson stands at six and three. KC's Graham Zusi is on four and five, Houston's Brad Davis has three and three, and Montreal's Patrice Bernier has two and five. All five of those midfielders made the All-Star team while Javier Morales did not. I'm not implying that these players don't deserve to be on the team; they have all had fine seasons. But after you look at these numbers you can't tell me that there's not room for a player who has produced the way Javi has.
Aside from just the raw numbers, Morales continues to do all the little things that make RSL a winner. Integrating so many new, young faces into the squad is a daunting task, one that usually takes teams’ considerable time. RSL struggled a bit in the early going as most of us expected, but lately they've been on a well-publicized tear. This doesn't happen without veteran leaders integrating the locker room and getting the new talent to buy in to what's being taught. Morales is an instrumental figure in the RSL locker room, especially serving as a bridge between the American and Latino players, and his efforts in that regard are one reason why RSL currently sits at the top of the league table.
It's true that All-Star games are more of a popularity contest than a legitimate selection of the best players, but they also serve as a form of recognition within the MLS community; a form of recognition that Morales certainly deserves this season.
A former RSL beat reporter for multiple outlets, Jeremy Horton is a regular contributor to RealSaltLake.com and helps cover the team for ESPN 700 AM.
Fan voting for this summer's MLS All-Star Game began on June 10. On Thursday, a new element was added: The Twitter vote.
How does the Twitter vote work? Here's all you need to know:
- Votiing is open from 10 a.m. MT on Thursday until 9:59 p.m. MT on Friday. It's a short window, so vote for your favorite RSL players early and often.
An eligible vote consists of the hashtag #MLSAllStar
AND the player's full name (first and last required) with or without a space.
- Example: Kyle Beckerman or KyleBeckerman
OR their Twitter handle
- Example: @NickRimando
- AND the player's full name (first and last required) with or without a space.
- Fans may vote for multiple players in a tweet; however fans may not vote for a single player multiple times within one tweet.
Fans may only vote for players on the All-Star ballot
- The six RSL players on the ballot are: Kyle Beckerman, Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Javier Morales, Nick Rimando and Alvaro Saborio. Click here to see the full ballot.
- There is no limit to the number of tweet votes fans can submit for any one player. Like we said, vote early and vote often.
- Each Twitter vote counts equal to one text vote or one online vote.
Don't have Twitter? No, worries. Click here to fill out the standard online ballot. Vote RSL!