Kyle Beckerman, The USA’s’ Dreadlocked Warrior
Kyle Beckerman #15, it’s not just what you see on the back of his jersey at this World Cup it is also what he signed at the bottom of the notes he wrote for his Mom as a kid.
Born in Maryland, it’s been Beckerman’s dream to play for the U.S. Men’s National team since he was young. However it was a dream he began to think would never come true until Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach and Beckerman started to see consistent field time. He’s now accumulated 32 total appearances on the senior team and with one goal against Panama in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Beckerman’s presence has been invaluable in Brazil.
Beckerman was among the first group of youngsters who decided against going to college in order to sign with the relatively new Major League Soccer Project-40 which at the time was funded by Nike. It is now called Generation Adidas.
He played for Miami Fusion and was picked up by the Colorado Rapids after the Fusion were contracted. He was traded to his current club of Real Salt Lake in 2007. After initially struggling to get off the bench in the league he became one of the best midfielders in the league and was the youngest MLS player to appear in 200 games.
Although he’s achieved success within MLS play, he’s never received a call to play for a final 23-man squad in the World Cup. Beckerman has proven to be a solid and reliable player for Klinsmann’s diamond formation within the midfield and even in the 4-2-3-1 that the USA has used in Qualifying. He might be recognized for his unusual hair and number of tattoos but Beckerman is making sure fans of the USMNT remember him for his athletic style of play and ability to defend even the world’s best players.
The United States will need to see another quality performance against Germany, and Beckerman will need to help put a stop to their dynamic midfielders. He might have been one of the lesser known USMNT players entering the World Cup, but he’s definitely emerging as one of the most valuable and most recognizable.