RSL to Honor Long-Time Icon Kyle Beckerman on November 3
SANDY, Utah - Real Salt Lake today announced that the Club's upcoming Wednesday, November 3 home match - RSL's 2021 home finale and the penultimate MLS regular-season contest of the year - will honor long-time Claret-and-Cobalt Captain, Kyle Beckerman.
Presented by America First Credit Union, "Kyle Beckerman Night" at Rio Tinto Stadium will feature a series of opportunities for fans to honor the Utah sporting icon, as well as a special $15 ticket price in selected areas - available - to honor the jersey number Beckerman wore most often in his numerous U.S. National Team appearances.
Details regarding dedication of interior venue real estate, supporters tifo creation, opportunities for fans to meet and greet Beckerman, as well as his full-stadium pre-game address and video presentations, will follow in coming days and weeks. The RSL Team Store - shop.RSL.com - is creating a special Kyle Beckerman section of its online store and will produce limited-edition KB5 scarves, with $10 from each sale supporting the Heart of America initiatives close to Kyle's heart. Additionally, America First Credit Union will supply the first 10,000 fans in attendance with commemorative "KB5" rally towels.
Stay tuned to RSL's social channels as the Club invites the public to join us in remembering and honoring countless signature moments authored by the one-time dreadlocked wonder, celebrating the man who led a competitive culture change for Utah's MLS presence on and off the field upon his arrival in mid-2007.
***The Nov. 3 match, crucial to RSL's 2021 MLS Cup Playoff hopes, has been added to the League's national television schedule on ESPN2, and will now feature an 8:00 p.m. MT start time.***
"From Day One of his arrival in Utah, Kyle defined and reshaped our Real Salt Lake club as needed," said RSL Interim President John Kimball. "On and off the field, we have become champions and whether through his Captaincy in competition or in serving as an ambassador for the game throughout Utah, he has been front and center for us. He is a World Class player who has become a part of our community and we can't thank him enough for his 14 years with Real Salt Lake. We are excited to honor our forever Captain on this night for the passion, professionalism and authenticity that he has woven into the fabric of our Club."
Beckerman, now 10 games into his post-playing career as the Men's Soccer Head Coach at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah's lone Men's Division I program, announced his retirement as a professional player last December, after 21 seasons in Major League Soccer and 14 with Real Salt Lake.
The Crofton, Maryland native was a nine-time MLS All-Star, four-time club Most Valuable Player, three-time Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year award winner and captain of Real Salt Lake's 2009 MLS Cup championship side. Beckerman finished his career as the League's all-time leader in career MLS regular-season games played (498), games started (461) and minutes played (41,164) amongst field players.
"I came to Utah knowing there was a mountain to climb but feeling we could get to the top with a team that valued hard work, belief in ourselves and commitment to one another. We succeeded together, and I lifted a trophy for each one of you who believed in us. We created a foundation on which RSL Nation will rest for years to come," Beckerman said upon retirement. "There are so many people to thank over 21 years. I appreciate all of the teammates I've battled with on the field and the coaches who put their trust in me. Thank you to all of the fans who never wavered though the highs and the lows, under sunny skies and through rain, sleet to and snow. Most of all, I'm grateful to my family who have been my biggest supporters. My love for the game comes second only to you, and I know there is plenty to look forward to in this next chapter."
Beckerman embarked on his MLS career at just 18 years old in 2000, signing with the Miami Fusion. Although he saw limited playing time in his first two seasons, playing alongside seasoned veterans set the tone for the rest of his career. When Miami was contracted from the league in 2002, he moved to the Colorado Rapids in the MLS Dispersal Draft. In 2003, he started a stretch that would see him play at least 2,100 minutes in 17 of the next 18 seasons. In 2006, he had his highest-scoring season, netting seven goals in a career-high 2,790 minutes in 31 appearances, playing every minute of every match he played. The following season, he was traded to Real Salt Lake on July 16, 2007, starting the next chapter of his illustrious career.
Over the course of the next 14 seasons, he was instrumental in establishing Real Salt Lake's identity on and off the field. He was named the Club's Captain for the 2008 campaign, leading the RSL charge for postseason qualification in the next seven consecutive seasons, highlighted by the 2009 MLS Cup win in a shootout against the LA Galaxy, the State of Utah's lone professional championship in nearly 40 years.
In Beckerman's 14 seasons with the club, he amassed 350 appearances, 337 starts, 30 goals and 39 assists in MLS regular-season action. Across all competitions, including CONCACAF Champions League, Leagues Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the 2020 "MLS Is Back" Tournament as well as playoff games, the man known in some circles as the "Iron Lion" boasted 410 appearances, 392 starts, 34 goals and 43 assists for Real Salt Lake.
During his 13-year tenure as Captain from 2008-20, RSL won MLS Cup in 2009 and reached Finals in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup. For his efforts, he was voted by his teammates as the club's MVP on four occasions - 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2016.
As vital as Beckerman was to Real Salt Lake's on-field success, Kyle was also an overwhelmingly popular fan-favorite and an instrumental part of the Club's community efforts. Throughout his career, Beckerman was a key part of RSL's community engagement efforts and was named the Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year in 2018, 2019 and in 2020 for his extensive work in the community, highlighted by the "Light the Res" project that brought solar energy to homes on the Navajo Reservation in southeastern Utah and the Four Corners area of the state.
In addition to his success on the club level, Beckerman also received 58 caps for the U.S. National Team across a decade worth of coaches in multiple eras, most prominently in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2009, 2013 and 2015 and the Copa America tournament in 2007 and 2016. In winning the Gold Cup title in 2013, Beckerman was named MVP of the Gold Cup Final. At the U-17 level, he developed at the famed Bradenton Academy in Florida alongside teammates such as Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, under the tutelage of inaugural RSL boss John Ellinger - a group who would become the core of the U.S. National Team for years to come. In 1999, the U.S. reached the semifinals of the FIFA U-17 Championships, with Beckerman scoring the winning goal in the quarterfinals against rival Mexico.
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