Tag Archives: Kyle Beckerman

MLS MVP Candidates

By Kevin Koczwara

The MLS Season is coming to a close, which means it’s time to start sorting out annual end of the year awards. The biggest award, and often most misunderstood award, is the Most Valuable Player Award. The award tends to go to goalscorers with gaudy stats rather than player who may be more integral to his team’s success. Well, this year, two of my three picks are holding midfielders because Major League Soccer hasn’t had a real stand-out forward all year.

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Three things we learned about the Crew and Real Salt Lake

By Ryan Fleming

For the first competitive match of the new season, the CONCACAF Champions League matchup between the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake, we saw exactly what many expected and a little of a different color. In a scoreless 0-0 tie, one could still make a fair amount of the play.

1. Columbus showed they came to play. Before the game many were leaning toward a more dominant performance from the away, RSL. The revamped Crew showed it had other plans. More specifically, with Andres Mendoza and Emilio Renteria as up-front options, the Crew don’t only have a bit of skill, but a lot of speed to boot. When midfielder Eddie Gaven and Emmanuel Ekpo begin to get their feet under them, Columbus could prove a few people wrong this season despite losing playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

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How the West Will Be Won; MLS Cup Playoffs Continue

By Kevin Koczwara

So far my predictions haven’t played out so well. I thought New York would be able to walk over San Jose on Thursday night. I was wrong. San Jose stormed into New York and got the two goal win the team needed after falling behind, 1-0, in the home leg less then a week earlier.

The Quakes, 3-1, win in New York was astonishing and entertaining as Bobby Convey put on his best Steven Gerrard performance.

Both Gerrard and Convey almost single-handily took their team from the brink of lossing, and put the game on their shoulders.

Gerrard’s second half hat-trick in Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Anfield over Napoli in a UEFA Cup match was just another miracle moment for the 30-year-old. Coming on as a substitute and leading the Reds back from the brink of a loss isn’t anything new for him – check 2005 Champions League Final and the 2006 FA Cup win over West Ham, just for a few.

Convey did similar to Gerrard on Thursday in New York, but with a twist. Convey and the Quakes were down a goal and playing at a raucous Red Bull Arena, yet Convey pulled his team level on aggregate with a 6th minute goal from just inside the box.

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Kyle Beckerman's Journey to the Top of Major League Soccer

Kyle Beckerman celebrates Real Salt Lake's MLS Cup Championship victory in 2009. Beckerman was traded by the Colorado Rapids to RSL in 2007. Courtesy Real Salt Lake

By Kevin Koczwara

The 2009 season was a dream come true for Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake. The team snuck into the MLS Cup playoffs as the last team to qualify. RSL had to go through Supporter’s Shield winners, (awarded to the best team of the regular season) Columbus Crew, to start. The team did that and made it all the way to the MLS Cup final where Beckerman and company had to take on the heavily favored Los Angeles Galaxy with American soccer icon Landon Donovan and English import, and tabloid favorite, David Beckham.

Beckerman lead the charge against the Galaxy as the captain of Salt Lake. Real went onto surprise just about everyone, beating the titanic duo of Beckham and Donovan, claiming the team’s first piece of silverware in club history.

Since the historic win, Real Salt Lake hasn’t looked back. The team finished second to Los Angeles in the MLS regular season with 56 points (15-4-11) and a record for fewest goals allowed in a season with 20 goals allowed in 30 games – a staggering .66 goals against average – and became the first North American soccer team to win its group in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.

“The biggest thing was it [the playoffs last year] helped us turn the corner for road games. That was our biggest problem in the past few years and is why we struggled to get into the playoffs [last season],” said Beckerman. “It was the road form, once we did that [started winning on the road] we turned a corner. We really grew up in the playoffs last year and we were able to get the results in the playoffs. We have transferred that into this season, and we haven’t stopped. Now, we defend better and we’re more mature as a team.”

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U.S. v El Salvador: Who Saw Their Stock Get a Major Lift

By Kevin Koczwara

The United States Men’s National team had a much needed trial game against El Salvador. It was a game for players on the bubble to make a case for their spot on the 23-man roster for the World Cup in June. The players who make the cut after the El Salvador game will surely be invited to the friendly next week against the Netherlands.

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