Tag Archives: Mehdi Ballouchy

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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MLS Cup Preview and Predictions

The Columbus Crew won its first and only MLS Cup in 2008. The Crew will need to get through the East to claim the Cup. (Courtesy Wikicommons.)

By Ryan Fleming and Kevin Koczwara

Before the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs commence we’ll take a bit of a look at the conference matchups before the first leg of the postseason starts. Will the Red Bulls take home the cup this year? Can Los Angeles make up for last year’s finals loss? Or will Real Salt Lake add another to their trophy case?

The West

Coming into the 2010 MLS Cup, RSL look to be one of the favorites to take home the Cup. The Royals had a solid season and look poised to make a deep postseason run. For the defending champs, they could become the third team in MLS history to win back-to-back titles. Real, the No. 2 seed coming into the tournament, takes on a Dallas team that has limped their way into the playoffs including losses to Western Conference foes, LA and Real.

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Revs Lose Second Striaght

Courtesy Revolutionsoccer.net

By Ryan Fleming

When a team’s best player is missing from injury, it needs to find a way to play without him – to close the hole as best it can and as soon as it can. Without Shalrie Joseph the New England Revolution are trying to close the gash in their ship before it sinks. Right now, their midfield is barely staying afloat.

The Revolution fell to the Colorado Rapids, 2-1, Saturday night – again demonstrating their midfield woes. But despite the loss there is a sense of pride throughout the team.

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