DRAPER, Utah – Some American soccer fans (and a few commentators) seemed somewhat surprised that Kyle Beckerman not only started in the USMNT's World Cup opener against Ghana, but played all 90-plus minutes.
Real Salt Lake Coach Jeff Cassar, however, was not among them.
“No, not really,” he told reporters. “I've got to be honest with you, when Kyle is with a team for a long period of time, really, there's an opportunity for the coach to know what he brings to the team on and off the field. And you could see how solid they were when [Beckerman was] on there.”
Beckerman's MLS coach rated his performance in the USMNT's 2-1 win as “really solid.”
“Especially when you look at that last play in the 84th minute when he toe-pokes the ball away from [Ghana midfielder Michael] Essian. I mean, that kind of play just shows what he does. He's always in the right place at the right time.”
The other RSL player on the American roster, goalkeeper Nick Rimando, did not get into the game, as expected. Rimando did get face time on ESPN, however, as he joyously hugged American coach Jurgen Klinsmann just after the final whistle.
“I mean, Nick never hurts for face time,” Cassar said with a smile. “That's Nick, though. He's a team player. He was so excited and [you could] see the joy in his face and Jurgen's face. When they were hugging each other, it was unbelievable.”