SANDY, Utah – RSL captain Kyle Beckerman had a pretty unusual weekend.
On Saturday, he was shown a red card during the team's 5-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes. On Sunday, though, he learned he had been selected to play in the MLS All-Star Game on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa., where the best MLS has to offer will take on UEFA Champions League title-holders Chelsea FC of the English Premier League.
"It feels good," said Beckerman of being named to the squad by the All-Stars' coach Ben Olsen of D.C. United after missing out on the First XI voting. "I'm just proud to represent RSL there and to have someone in the festivities. Hopefully, I can go and make us proud."
"It's pretty cool, especially after they just won the Champions League with all the names and stars that they have," he added of facing Chelsea. "It should be a neat experience and something I'm looking forward to."
The nod is Beckerman's sixth consecutive season being named an All-Star – he was on the inactive list in 2007 and 2008 before earning a spot on the gameday roster in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He did not play in the 2010 game, however, because of injury.
The news came at a good time, helping to try to alleviate some of the bad thoughts he had because of his ejection the day before. Beckerman was ejected in the 57th minute of RSL's game against San Jose after he fouled Sam Cronin in retaliation for the Quakes midfielder's challenge on Javier Morales. His team was trailing 1-0 at the time, but gave up four goals in the final 30 minutes of his absence.
"It was just a dangerous play on Javier, and then I just tried to kind of stop the play, give a little shoulder charge," said Beckerman of the incident. "It just kind of flipped off because the crowd got into it and it got a little out of the referee's hands and I got a red card. I didn't endanger anyone's playing career. What are you gonna do?"
Although it severely hurt the team, RSL head coach Jason Kreis understood what Beckerman did.
"When I put myself in his shoes and knowing what type of player I was, I think he was pretty aggravated," said Kreis.
"First and foremost, that Javi gets fouled, and the way he does in the middle third of the field, really no reason for the foul; second, the referee doesn't call the foul, again and third, which a lot of people don't notice is they didn't play the ball out of bounds, which is typically what you do in those situations. Cronin was looking for the pass to beat us to try to score another goal with a player down.
"I realize that's the rule of the game right now, and that's the way you are supposed to do things, the referee is supposed to stop play when a player goes down," Kreis continued. "But you still think there is a little unwritten rule you are supposed to knock it out and he didn't. I think Kyle took particular offense to that."
Emotions can play a big role on the pitch, and perhaps Beckerman let his get the best of him, but he definitely regrets his actions.
"If I knew I was going to get a red card, of course I wouldn't do it," he said.
But the booking also means the All-Star must sit out Saturday's game against Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Colorado.
"Anytime you have to sit out, it's a bummer," Beckerman said. "I'm just trying to get past this as fast as possible, get the boys ready for this week. Hopefully, we can get a win on Saturday."