The latest MLS Insider chronicles the return of several U.S. World Cup players to their MLS clubs - capturing the adulation, media hype, and players' reflections on the tournament and the sport's progress at home. The Insider crew captured the return of RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman and veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake. Watch the well-done video above.
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando attended the 2014 ESPY’s last with U.S. Soccer, as the team took home the Best Moment award for its 2-1 win at the death over Ghana in its opening World Cup match. Check out some of the best tweets and photos of the sharp dressed duo enjoying the festivities:
— Chris Kamrani (@chriskamrani) July 17, 2014
— ESPYS 2014 (@ESPYS) July 17, 2014
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) July 17, 2014
— Nick Rimando (@NickRimando) July 17, 2014
— Nick Rimando (@NickRimando) July 17, 2014
— Kyle Beckerman (@KyleBeckerman) July 17, 2014
The latest video in the Soccer Smarts with Professor Leo World Cup series takes a look at the semifinals. Argentina and the Netherlands will face each other in the second semifinal match today at 2:00 p.m. MT on ESPN. The winner of the match will face Germany - which defeated Brazil yesterday - in the final on Sunday.
Get a fantastic behind-the-scenes look at the return of RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando to the club last Friday. The U.S. international duo started and played the full 90 minutes in the Claret-and-Cobalt's 2-1 win over New England Revolution on July 4, just one day after returning from Brazil.
Check out the great video below:
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando returned to Salt Lake City last Thursday just in time to help lead the Claret-and-Cobalt to a much needed 2-1 win over New England Revolution the following day. The U.S. duo started and played a full 90 minutes just 24 hours after travelling over 6,000 miles from Brazil and spending almost two months with the U.S. preparing for and participating in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The return of two of RSL’s most important players was needed as the Claret-and-Cobalt finally snapped its five-game winless streak in MLS play as it heads into its final stretch of 2014.
Before Friday’s match v. New England, Beckerman and Rimando sat down with former RSL-man Brian Dunseth to share and give some insight into their World Cup experience. Check out the must-see interviews below.
Salt Lake City showed up in a big way on Tuesday, with over 6,000 Utahns packing downtown's Gallivan Center for the USA v. Belgium match. The show of support for the U.S. Men's National Team was tremendous and solidified that fact that Salt Lake City and Utah as a whole, is a hotbed for soccer. A huge thank you for all the fans that showed up to cheer on the USA and RSL.
Here's video of SLC going crazy after Julian Green scored for the U.S. in extra time:
We wrote after the U.S.’s tie against Portugal that RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman’s strong performances for the Americans were becoming routine.
Now, with the U.S. through to Round of 16, Beckerman’s solid outings are more than just routine, they’re expected.
Beckerman was steady as ever for the U.S. in its 1-0 loss to Germany on Thursday, hardly putting a foot wrong in 90 minutes against Die Mannschaft. The heart-and-soul of the Claret-and-Cobalt, Beckerman was excellent defensively, tying for first on the team with two interceptions, leading all non-defenders with three clearances and tying for third on the team with a pair of tackles. His biggest defensive play probably came in the 79th minute, when he stripped forward Mario Gotze on the edge of the box to snuff out a dangerous German chance.
Beckerman was nearly as good in possession, finishing second on the team with 38 successful passes and a 93 percent passing accuracy. Importantly, Beckerman consistently looked forward while on the ball, often turning out of trouble to find Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones or another teammate higher up the field.
Kyle will have another chance to shine on Tuesday, when the U.S. takes on Belgium in the Round of 16. Kick is at 2:00 p.m. MT in Salvador. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman joined The Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning, talking with Dan and the guys about the U.S.'s draw with Portugal on Sunday, Cristiano Ronaldo and the etiquette on jersey swaps at the end of matches.
The best part of Kyle's interview came when Dan asked if he'd cut his dreads to guarantee a win over Germany. His response? A quick yes, of course.
Check out Kyle's entire interview from this morning's show up above.
Traveling to and from Manaus is, even in the best of times, a challenge. Manaus’ raison d'être is its usefulness as a port city in the middle of the Amazon jungle; it boomed in the early 20th century as a distribution point for a growing rubber industry and now has a population around two million. It’s very literally only accessible by plane or boat, there are no roads and the stadium was constructed at huge cost using only materials that could be delivered in either of the two aforementioned ways.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the best of times. This was the World Cup, and so the travel was a nightmare. I’ll spare you the gory details, as I suspect travel horror stories are just as boring for the listener as fantasy sports stories and fishing tales. The basics, though: answering a 1:30 AM wakeup call for a 9 AM Natal-to-Manaus flight, getting to the airport at 9 PM for a 5 AM Manaus-to Natal departure. We were the lucky ones; the trip has been split into two planes, creatively named Plane 1 and Plane 2. I’m on Plane 1, the Plane 2 prisoners left at 12 PM and 2 PM respectively for the above planes. This means they spent roughly 24 hours waiting in airports. Cue the sad trombone.
Once arriving, we were taken on a Manaus city tour by bus. Our tour guide, Marlon, largely passed the time by sharing local Manausian jokes. The best one: “When you do wrong on Earth, where do you go? You go to hell. When you do wrong in hell, where do you go? You go to Manaus.”
Manaus splits time between the seasons of “undesirably hot” and “egg-cooking-on-concrete hot”. Luckily we were still in the former stage, yet it was still over 100 degrees and over 80 percent humidity during the pre-match party. The game, mercifully, was at night, because the temperature was raised by the more than 40,000 spectators at the match.
It’s really difficult to objectively describe a USMNT match as when attended with the American Outlaws. The problem is that every minute contains an emotion raised to the millionth power. Faith: The “I Believe That We Will Win” chant, one so powerful and catchy Brazilians have asked me multiple times to teach them the words. Competitiveness: Every time the Portugal fans tried to get a chant going, AO made their best effort to drown it out with one of their own (I’m not sure how effective it was on TV, but it was extremely powerful from within that end of the stadium). Elation: Both U.S. goals, one to get the draw for the US and one to get the win. Despair: Allowing the Portuguese to score the latest goal in regulation in World Cup history.
After that, we were bussed to the airport. At about 1 AM, I wandered around and found several hundred USMNT fans passed out, sleeping on the tile floors. The Amazon had exhausted us all.
Sports are great because they’re proxies of the human condition, compressed into two to three hour blocks. Yesterday’s match against Portugal was one of the greatest examples of that in US history, and the American Outlaws experience just magnified it even more. I’m so lucky to be here.