Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman called his last time on the field with the U.S. team at Rio Tinto Stadium 'amazing,' and expects to have a similar experience Saturday when he steps on his home pitch against Cuba.
For RSL’s stars, Gold Cup is chance to make an impression
Soccer » Beckerman, Rimando likely to start for U.S. against Cuba.
First Published Jul 12 2013 01:56 pm • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:35 pm

Kyle Beckerman waited anxiously for his chance.

It was September 2009, and more than 19,000 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium were watching the U.S. fight to keep a 2-1 lead over El Salvador. After nearly 80 minutes of play, Beckerman got his shot.

At a glance


USA. vs. Cuba

At Rio Tinto Stadium

Kickoff »  Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

TV » Ch. 13

About the U.S. » Roster features Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Tony Beltran. ... Landon Donovan, the country’s all-time leader in goals and assists, now has 51 of each, but is still trying to work his way back into coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s good graces after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. ... Forward Chris Wondolowski scored a first-half hat trick against Belize. ... Team is on a six-game winning streak, its second longest ever. ... This is the U.S. men’s national team’s second trip to Rio Tinto this summer. ... Tickets are still available for Saturday’s doubleheader.

About Cuba »  Coming off a 3-0 loss to Costa Rica. ... Qualified for the tournament by taking first in the 2012 Caribbean Cup. ... Cuba is 1-13-2 all-time in Gold Cup play, and is riding an 11-game winless streak dating back to 2003. ... In the Gold Cup, Cuba has allowed 53 goals while scoring only 11.

Costa Rica vs. Belize

At Rio Tinto Stadium

Kickoff »  Saturday, 4 p.m.

TV » Fox Soccer

About Costa Rica » Captained by Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio. ... Coming off a 3-0 win over Cuba, thanks in part to two goals from Michael Barrantes. ... Along with Mexico and the U.S., one of the favorites to win the tournament. ... Best Gold Cup finish came in 2002, when Costa Rica was the runner-up.

About Belize »  Looking to rebound from a 6-1 loss to the United States. ... This is the nation’s first time in the Gold Cup. ... Deon McCauley led the team with 11 goals in eight games in World Cup qualifying, though Belize failed to advance past the second round.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

It was worth the wait.

"It was such an amazing feeling," Beckerman said this week. "The place erupted."

The Real Salt Lake midfielder likely won’t have to wait so long for his next opportunity to represent his country in front of his home fans. Beckerman and RSL teammate Nick Rimando have started for the U.S. in the team’s last two matches, and seem a lock to start again when Gold Cup play continues with the U.S. taking on Cuba on Saturday afternoon in Sandy.

For Rimando, a regular national team call-up, it would be the first time seeing action in an international match held in Utah.

"It will be a little weird wearing a different crest," the goalkeeper said, "but once you cross those lines, I’m familiar with those fans and the field."

The Cubans are coming off a 3-0 loss to Costa Rica, and the U.S. will be looking to continue an offensive barrage that has seen the team outscore its opponents 12-1 over its last two games.

"If you don’t get early goals, these teams can stay in it, get confidence and you find yourself in a dogfight," said Beckerman, who provided an assist in the team’s win over Belize.

For Beckerman, Rimando and RSL defender Tony Beltran, there are team and personal goals to be achieved.

story continues below
story continues below

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann "has made it clear to us that this is a very important tournament," Rimando said. "Mexico’s taken the cup the last two years. We want it back. We want to be the best in the region. We want to put soccer back on the map, where U.S. soccer should be."

The United States’ toughest tests in the tournament are likely to come from Mexico and Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio’s Costa Rica team, which will play Belize in the second half of Saturday’s doubleheader at Rio Tinto at 4 p.m.

And with the World Cup a year away, players are trying to win spots on the United States’ first-team roster.

"I want to show the coaches that I belong in this group, that I deserved to be called in and that I deserve to be called in in the future," Beltran said.

Rimando, meanwhile, has said that this could be his last chance at a World Cup spot.

"I just play every day like it’s my last," he said. "My role right now is different than when Timmy [Howard] and Brad [Guzan] are in, but any role Jurgen will give me to be part of this team I’ll take. Right now it’s on the field and doing my duties there. And when it’s not, I’ll do my duties off the field."


Twitter: @aaronfalk

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.