After most of the USMNT World Cup matches the attention falls on the defense or on the stars. That is fine with Kyle Beckerman. He has played a familiar role on the field, but it is one of increasing importance. Beckerman has shielded the back line superbly thus far in the World Cup. The majority of banter on Beckerman over the last year seemed to be negative, so not hearing much about him is a good thing.
Moving through the hex, Beckerman was a target for many. He is not flashy and has his role on the field. Beckerman is steady and he meets expectations. For the USMNT, that works perfectly. As the World Cup moves into the Round of 16, Beckerman has been a rock at defensive midfielder and played every minute of every game. This means slogging through the rain in Recife after the sweltering heat of Manaus, and still no one is talking about him.
Beckerman’s ability was on display against Germany. He tracked back against a formidable attacking side when it looked like a lane had opened up. He even made smart fouls as he was one of many to clatter Bastian Schweinsteiger or Lukas Podolski when it looked like Germany had a break. It was clear that Beckerman knew where Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley were at all times. He also realized his role as a passing outlet was important and found holes to help maintain possession.
Other than awkward engagement photos, Beckerman is quiet off the field. After being in the inaugural under-17 residency program, things have come full circle for Beckerman. His attitude has always seemed perfect letting his play do the talking. His ability did speak for itself to get to the World Cup, and a day before the clash with Germany he was on the podium representing his country in front of the media.
The way Beckerman has gone about his business has earned him respect. He’s also someone you would love to get a beer with, and looking at Twitter shows he is a heartthrob. He has been called the security blanket and performs that role well. His fitness has not been questioned. When the USMNT’s run in the World Cup comes to an end, many will speak highly of Beckerman’s cumulative performance.
But for now Beckerman is not mentioned much, and USMNT fans will want it to stay that way.