Real Salt Lake has a crucial match on Wednesday night against the Portland Timbers and while two key players were scheduled to be away with the U.S. National Team for a friendly on Tuesday against Costa Rica, U.S. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann released Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando from camp, allowing for their returns to Rio Tinto Stadium for Wednesday’s match.
Having those two veterans back in the lineup entering a crucial stretch for RSL is important to Head Coach Jeff Cassar.
“They are leaders on this team. They are experienced players. They know how to manage a game,” Cassar said. “There’s times when you need to speed it up. There’s times when you need to slow it down and they recognize those times.”
Beckerman played all 120 minutes in a 3-2 extra time loss to Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup on Saturday at the Rose Bowl while Rimando was on the bench, but warmed up late in the contest in anticipation of possibly entering the match in the event that it went to penalty kicks. Although Beckerman saw those extended minutes, Cassar isn’t concerned that it will affect his availability on Wednesday.
“I would expect him to play. He takes care of his body really well … and he’s not getting benched,” he laughed.
This season Beckerman has played 2,155 minutes, good for third-most on the team. After playing 120 minutes for the U.S. on Saturday in his ninth international match this season, he said Monday that he is ready to face the Timbers on Wednesday.
“I feel good. Just the normal stuff – a couple bumps and bruises – but nothing serious,” he said.
Beckerman and Rimando are among eight players who returned to their clubs after Saturday’s match, with five players being added in their place for Tuesday’s friendly with Costa Rica. Along with the RSL stars, Houston Dynamo defender DaMarcus Beasley, Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey, defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi from Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley and San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski all returned to their clubs. In their places, Klinsmann added D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, NYCFC midfielder Mix Diskerud, Orlando City SC midfielder Brek Shea, New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen and Sandhausen forward Andrew Wooten.