LEHI, Utah – On Saturday, Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman will make a fitting return to the pitch against Chivas USA, the same team against whom he picked up an injury to a tendon in his left foot back on May 22.
However, when the injury occurred, nobody expected the recovery time to be so long – it’s been nearly nine weeks since the holding midfielder had to be subbed out of his teams’ 2-1 win over the Goats.
“It was tough having to watch,” said Beckerman about the time off due to injury. “You get nervous [because] you can’t do anything about it.”
The rehab time was full of ups and downs. Beckerman initially returned to practice nearly three weeks ago, but experienced significant pain at times that kept him from getting back onto the field. During that period, the RSL captain was obviously dejected.
Now, the Beckerman is much more upbeat and, when asked about his availability for this weekend, he happily responded: “We’re good to go.”
Midfield partner Will Johnson pointed out how important Beckerman’s return to the team will be. According to Johnson, the 11th-year veteran’s energy and leadership are crucial to the team, as is his unrivaled ability to distribute the ball and link up with attacking midfielder Javier Morales to help the team transition quickly into attack mode.
But, Johnson says, Beckerman’s greatest attribute is that he “shuts down so many plays in front of the defense.”
Beckerman’s return comes at an important time for the team, as RSL get ready to begin their busiest stretch of their existence. Between league play and CONCACAF Champions League, the defending MLS champions will participate in 18 matches over an 11-week stretch beginning on August 7.
“We’ve got a lot of games coming up. We’re going to need everybody healthy,” stated Beckerman. “We’ve got to be firing on all cylinders.”
It’s unknown whether Beckerman will start or come off of the bench in his return this Saturday, but the team will certainly be glad to have its captain back.