It should come as no surprise.
Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando still remain part of immediate future for Jurgen Klinsmann and the United States men’s national soccer team. Klinsmann named both Beckerman and Rimando to his roster for the final two World Cup Qualifiers against Jamaica (Oct. 11) and Panama (Oct. 15) Sunday afternoon.
It’s become somewhat of regularity now. It’s no doubt Klinsmann is high on both RSL players. He put Rimando in goal for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which the U.S. ended up winning the tournament 1-0 over Panama on July 28. Beckerman was a staple in the midfield during that tournament, and it surely made an impression.
When injuries took their toll on the U.S. midfield during the last round of qualifiers, Klinsmann gave Beckerman the nod against rival Mexico. The RSL captain went 90 in the 2-0 win over the Mexicans in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 11, a win that cemented a spot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil for the Americans.
In a Q&A on the U.S. Soccer website, Klinsmann mentioned Beckerman when asked to address open spots in the midfield currently left due to lingering knocks and injuries. Beckerman has 32 career caps with the national team and has had nine appearances — and at starts — during the 2013 campaign.
"The players that stepped on the field against Mexico after what happened with the yellow cards in Costa Rica and Michael Bradley’s injury did a fantastic job," Klinsmann said. "Kyle Beckerman played an amazing game against Mexico. They all deserve playing time, and the beauty of it is that if one player isn’t there, the next one has a chance."
Klinsmann, who was at Rio Tinto Stadium on Oct. 1 for the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final between DC United and RSL, was extremely complimentary of Beckerman and his tenacity on the pitch.
"We often talk about Kyle and I’m full of admiration for him because you can’t find a better pro," Klinsmann said. "He’s always totally committed and 100-percent focused, if it’s in training, in a game or if it’s off the field as well."
When assessing the goalkeeper situation in the Q&A, Klinsmann didn’t mince words in saying that he believes the U.S. is as fortunate as any national team across the globe.
"You want to have your established player that is No. 1 in his position being challenged," Klinsmann said. "You want to have him on his toes and know that the next guy is waiting. Tim [Howard] has played outstanding for us the last two years in many, many games, and also now at Everton. The competition maybe also helped him, because Brad Guzan is knocking on the door and doing extremely well at Aston Villa. He’s the No. 1 there, having kicked out another national team goalkeeper. Then you have Nick Rimando, who has had an outstanding year with Real Salt Lake and did a great job in the Gold Cup. This is what we are working on. It keeps you hungry and motivated and focused. With the goalkeepers, we have one of the best situations in the world."
Rimando has 12 career caps with the national team and has gone a perfect 6-0-0 in starts for the team this year.
Costa Rica officially qualified for the 2014 World Cup with the Panama-Honduras draw, putting RSL forward Alvaro Saborio’s Ticos in second-place in the CONCACAF Hexagonal and one point behind the U.S. In his last appearance for the national team, Saborio subbed on in the last ten minutes of Costa Rica’s 3-1 win over the United States on Sept. 6. Saborio scored RSL’s lone goal in its 1-1 home draw against FC Dallas Saturday night.
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