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SBI MLS Player of the Month: Kyle Beckerman

KyleBeckerman (Getty)

He didn't light up the scoreboard, and didn't play assist machine, but Kyle Beckerman's contributions to Real Salt Lake's impressive start to the MLS season have made him SBI's pick for MLS Player of the Month.

RSL sits in first place in the Western Conference after four matches despite having players such as Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio, Fabian Espindola, Will Johnson and Nat Borchers all miss starts and matches to injuries. A major reason for that is the play of Beckerman, who has bossed the midfield and been pivotal in each of Real Salt Lake's three wins this season.

He commanded the midfield in RSL's season-opening win against Los Angeles, dominated his opponents in the team's win against the New York Red Bulls, then delivered the stoppage-time, game-winning goal in RSL's stirring comeback victory against Portland at Jeld-Wen Field.

Beckerman beat out a strong field of candidates that included Thierry Henry, Graham Zusi and Chris Wondolowski. Henry was outstanding in New York's recent two victories, scoring five goals and earning SBI MLS Player of the Week honors on both occasions.  

Zusi notched at least one assist in each of Sporting KC's three victories in March to help KC start with a perfect record. Wondolowski scored in all three of San Jose's victories to start the season, including a brace in the Earthquakes victory against Toronto FC.


Who was your pick for MLS Player of the Month? Was it Henry for his pair of dominating multi-goal efforts, or was it Zusi for his creative exploits? Was there someone else you feel should have been considered?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. No offense but Espindola needs to learn how to kick the freaking ball at the net with some speed. And talk about inconsistency. That is Fabian’s middle name. He does amazing things with his footwork but can’t kick the ball 30 MPH. Grabavoy is an animal. But his work ethic makes up for some missing talent (same for Will Johnson and I love them both). Beckerman is the glue. We rise and fall with him. There is no doubt about it. When Beckerman plays well, we dominate. He doesn’t (see Chivas), we choke. But he is the heart and soul of the team. Even more than Jason.

  2. I think that every team needs that “unsung hero” type, either at center back, or D-mid; a player with competent a skills, great consistency and an incredibly high work rate and discipline level. While one could argue if he’s the best USMNT pool player for the #6 or #7, Beckerman has made a career out of these developing these characteristics and has used them to great effect at RSL. Beckerman’s value is that he is a great safety net in terms of providing cover for his offense and being the first line of defense past the midline. Players like this have very unremarkable stats when it comes to goals and assists, sometimes even passing and tackle numbers are low as well, but they can have tremendous impact of the flow of the opponent. American players that have been (and are) in this mold are Jermaine Jones & Pablo Mastroeni and many folks argue about whether Maurice Edu and Michael Bradley, Paco Torres and Rico Clark truly belong in that role as well.

    Again, you all can argue about whether he deserves this shout out or international callups, but it’s tough to deny that the role is a critical one and that he does it exceptionally well in MLS.

  3. Totally agree. I am an RSL fan as well… and I thought Kyle looked particularly bad the last couple of matches. Both goals WERE his fault. He has seemed a bit slow and hesitant in the mid. Very much unlike him. But… he did help to rally his team and score a big time goal when it counts.

  4. Beckerman doesn’t play a sexy game but I can tell you as one who started attending RSL games back in the Rice Eccles days that before Beckerman RSL had no midfielder that could calmly hold onto the ball and make simple passes to maintain it. As a fan I thought Ballouchy was the future (he had some sweet goals his rookie year for RSL) but then Kreis takes over and trades Ballouchy for Beckerman (Highway robbery by Kreis) and now look at where RSL is. Of course there are way better pieces around Beckerman that make RSL the class of MLS. But the major shift to a winning side started with that Beckerman trade.

  5. Unglamorous yes but as the article mentions RSL would not have started so well were it not for Beckerman doing whatever it takes on defense, distribution and what a skillful volley for the game winning goal against Portland.

    Beckerman is a players player.

  6. I don’t want this to seem like I’m completely bashing Beckerman, but I have honestly not understood what people see in the guy. Kries loves him, Klinsmann loves him too, so obviously the guys who matter share a different opinion than I, but I’ve constantly focused on his play and don’t get the hype.

    In particular I was at the HDC for the Galaxy opener and specifically focused on Beckerman’s movement to see if I would see more of his game live than comes through on TV. If the attack is moving forward, Beckerman will slide back into non-threatening space so he can provide an outlet. When he receives the ball, he usually makes a simple square pass and then backs off into deep space again.

    It keeps the play moving, I understand that, but I don’t see how he can possibly be the player of the month.

    There’s other players in this holding role who I like better; Alonso, Juninho (having a rough go at it this season), Julio Cesar, Adam Moffat.

    Oh well I guess this is one of those things I will never understand. I’ve accepted the fact that people will rate Beckerman much higher than I. I guess that’s why I’m just a fan and they are coaches?

  7. If you can’t recognize the force Kyle is in the mid, you must be watching a different game, or perhaps you like American long ball play… that’s exactly what we don’t want. Kyle is always solid and our possession game revolves around him. Support your team, die hard RSL fans wouldn’t sell out their captain like you just did. RSLTID.

  8. I’m a die hard RSL fan and even I’ll be the first to tell you this is a load of crap. Kyle has looked really bad in a couple games so far this season (which isn’t a good stat when you’ve only played 4 so far). Against LA he had moments of brilliance followed by “what the hell was that” for 10 minutes. Against New York he had a pretty good match, but most everyone on RSL did that day. Against Chivas he was plain and simply horrible. RSL lost that match because they never could get anything going in the middle third consistently. And finally, against Portland both the goals came from mistakes in his part of the field and his defending.

    If I were to give it to an RSL player, I’d give it to Espindola or Grabavoy. Both have been very solid.


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