US national team, World Cup player profile: Kyle Beckerman

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Real Salt Lake’s captain has been grinding away in Major League Soccer his entire career. Finally, he’s getting the credit he deserves. Beckerman, 32, will be taking part in his first World Cup and has been in and out of the U.S. national team setup over the years. You know exactly what you will get from him.

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Calm and composed in front of the back four, Beckerman has played for the Miami Fusion, Colorado Rapids and RSL with the same tenacity and guile which has led him all the way to the national team. A skilled warrior in the engine room.

Full name: Kyle Robert Beckerman

Age: 32

Hometown: Crofton, Maryland

Position: Central midfield

Caps/goals: 35 caps, 1 goal

Club: Real Salt Lake

Best moment in a U.S. shirt: Despite scoring his one and only national team goal during the 2009 Gold Cup campaign… Beckerman’s best performances in the Stars and Stripes came in the 2013 Gold Cup. Beckerman played five out of the USA’s six game son the way to winning the tournament and the way he swept up in front of the back four and marshaled the midfield was superb. You felt like Jurgen Klinsmann gained plenty of respect for the way Beckerman plays last summer. A key cog in the USMNT’s success.

Starter or squad player at World Cup? Beckerman will go to the World Cup as cover for Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley, the first-choice central midfield partnership. However with his superb displays for Real Salt Lake in midfield, the dreadlocked genius could well come into the starting XI if things go pear-shaped against Ghana in the World Cup opener. He has the ability to spray a pass, break the play up and dictate the temp of a game. An MLS legend who is finally getting the chance he deserved with the national team.