Beckerman Signs Four-year Extension
Real Salt Lake announced today that
the team’s Captain, MF Kyle Beckerman, will continue to wear
Claret-and-Cobalt for the next four years, as the club and 11-year MLS veteran
agreed to a contract extension that will keep the 2010 World Cup South Africa
hopeful with the MLS Cup 2009 champions through the end of the 2013 Major
League Soccer season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be
announced. Today’s extension follows similar four-year pacts inked with FW Fabián
Espíndola, MF Javier Morales, DF Jamison Olave, and DF Chris
Wingert over the course of the last 18 months as the squad continues its
attempts to lock down the talented core members of its Cup-winning roster.
“Kyle has been instrumental in changing the
competitive landscape for this organization since his midseason 2007 arrival,”
said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey. “His leadership in the locker
room and each and every day in the training sessions have been clearly evident,
contributing to the back-to-back Playoff runs and obviously to our Cup victory.
We are thrilled that he has bought into our ‘Team is the Star’ mantra, and will
be wearing a Real Salt Lake uniform – and hopefully hauling in more hardware –
in the foreseeable future.”
The 2010 season marks Beckerman’s fourth
season with Real Salt Lake, making 84 appearances in all competitions,
including 83 starts, since joining the Utah side in July of 2007 via trade from
the rival Colorado Rapids in exchange for MF Mehdi Ballouchy. The 27-year
old box-to-box midfielder – and off the field clothing entrepreneur, with his
“KB5” line – has posted 19 goals and 26 assists in MLS regular and postseason
play across his 11-year career. Beckerman is most revered across the Wasatch
Front for his five years of undefeated play in the Rocky Mountain Cup series,
winning the fan-created trophy in 2005 and 2006 with Colorado before three
consecutive seasons from 2007-09 capturing the Cup for Real Salt Lake, all
while simultaneously eliminating the Rapids from playoff contention on the
final day of each season.
"I’m very happy here – the team, the
community, the organization,” said Beckerman. “I think that since we started
coming together in the last couple of years, we’ve had something special going
on here -- even before we won the Cup. And now I really think we have something
even more special going, and I want to be a part of it."
Beckerman recently made his 12th
career appearance for the U.S. Men’s National Team, notching one goal since
his senior international debut in 2007. The 2010 U.S. World Cup hopeful ended
stints at U.S. MNT camps in January and February of 2010 with starts in
friendlies on 1/23/10 v. Honduras (60 min.) at The Home Depot Center (1-3 L)
and 2/24/10 v. El Salvador (79 min.) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa (2-1 W).
Beckerman’s 10th “cap” came via a 10-minute appearance v. El
Salvador last Sept. 5 in a World Cup Qualifier at Rio Tinto Stadium, helping
the USA hold on to a 2-1 victory. Beckerman played in all six of the USA’s
contests in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, starting five while also scoring his
first goal at the senior international level on July 18 v. Panama in the
quarterfinal round, his 49th minute equalizer helping the USA
advance in a 2-1 extra-time win in Philadelphia.
The three-time MLS All-Star bypassed
college and signed with Major League Soccer as an 18-year old in June, 2000,
shortly after graduating from Crofton, Maryland’s Arundel High School. Joining
MLS as a Project-40 player for the now-defunct Miami Fusion FC, Beckerman
counted current Real Salt Lake personalities Nick Rimando, Garth
Lagerwey and Jeff Cassar among his teammates. Despite an
injury-filled start to his MLS career during two years in Miami, Beckerman has
appeared in a minimum of 25 regular season games each MLS season since 2003 –
culminating in his first Cup championship last November in Seattle, an
accomplishment to be honored at Real Salt Lake’s home opener on Saturday
against Seattle Sounders FC.
Saturday’s early-season Western Conference
showdown at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy begins with the opening of the Carnival
Real pre-game festival on the stadium’s East Lawn at 5:00 p.m. MT.
Fans will want to take their seats plenty early for Saturday’s pre-game
ceremony beginning around 6:30 p.m., when the unfurling of the MLS
Cup 2009 Championship banner from the Rio Tinto Stadium rafters and the issuing
of the 2009 championship rings to remaining members of the team’s roster,
coaching staff and ownership will take place. That will certainly get “RSL
Nation” worked into a fever pitch for the 7:00 p.m. kickoff, when Real
Salt Lake and Seattle will look to get back into the win column following
hard-fought losses in Week 2 action.