Sandy • As he watched the action unfold at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday, Jurgen Klinsmann undoubtedly was judging a few of his potential players.
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando has been a regular call-up for Klinsmann’s U.S. men’s national team. D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius might be if he could avoid the injuries that have hampered his chances.
And then there’s RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
Salt Lake’s captain has been a polarizing player on the international level, but his recent play — in helping the U.S. take this summer’s Gold Cup, and then again in the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Mexico — may have helped his chances at earning a ticket to Brazil.
"I’m full of admiration for him," Klinsmann said, "because you can’t find a better pro. He’s always totally committed and focused, whether it’s in training or in a game or off the field as well. His part that’s he played on the field, we’ve discussed that many times — things I like, things I want to improve, and he knows those things."
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley is dealing with an injury that will keep him out of the next round of qualifiers, Klinsmann said. That could open up more opportunities for the consistent Beckerman.
"Every time he steps on the field, you what you’re going to get from him," the U.S. coach said.
Klinsmann, however, did not have a chance to check out RSL’s Luis Gil.
The 19-year-old midfielder featured prominently for the U.S. in this summer’s Under-20 World Cup in Turkey. But after undergoing an emergency appendectomy Sunday, Gil was held out of Tuesday’s game.
Klinsmann said he wants to see more from Gil and other young prospects in the coming years.
"All of the youngsters that were with [U-20 coach Tab Ramos], we watch them," he said, "if it’s a DeAndre Yedlin in Seattle, for example, or it’s Luis Gil. We also see they’re still missing a lot. You’ve got to give them time. The best thing that can happen is they play, play games, get as many games as they can."
Gil’s surgery was successful, team officials said, and he participated in team activities Monday.
Back in action
RSL striker Alvaro Saborio traveled to Costa Rica last month to get treatment on a nagging calf injury.
It must have worked.
The team’s all-time leading scorer was back on the field Tuesday for the first time since he went 90 minutes in a 4-2 win over Portland on Aug. 30.
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