RSL legend Kyle Beckerman stuns soccer world, cuts off his dreadlocks

Lennie Mahler | The Salt Lake Tribune Kyle Beckerman runs practice drills during RSL training at Soccer City in Draper, Utah, Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015.

Kyle Beckerman took off his hat and Joao Plata’s eyes widened.

“Oh [expletive],” Plata said, springing up to examine Beckerman’s head closer.

All but one dreadlock, which still hung from the base of his head as a rat tail, had been chopped off.

Yes, that’s right. The captain showed up to his exit physical at team physician Drew Cooper’s office Wednesday with short hair. He still had to break the news to a couple teammates, including Plata, that he had done away with the signature hairstyle that he had been growing for over a decade.

“I think the second half of the season had a real reenergizing feel,” Beckerman said. “And I don’t know if that pushed me to it or what, but my wife and I had just started snipping some on Monday after our game and kept going. And here’s where we’re at right now.”

After RSL’s last match, coach Mike Petke joked when he and Beckerman talked on the field postgame, he told Beckerman to cut his hair and come back a new man.

Beckerman laughed about that Wednesday, saying he hadn’t heard the comments.

“Mike, he’s funny,” Beckerman said. “Nah, it’s just a new do, and I feel ready to rock. So maybe this new do will make them think I’m 22, 23 and sign a longer deal.”

Beckerman, whose contract expired at the end of this season, said he is still in talks with the team.

“It looks great,” goalkeeper Nick Rimando said. “He’ll be faster next year hopefully.”

If not that, at least he’ll be more distinguishable from the team’s mascot, Leo the Lion.

Movsisyan: I won’t ride the bench again

Striker Yura Movsisyan has not started for RSL since July 4, and he said he wouldn’t settle for that next season.

“Being at stage that I am, I’m not going to come back and sit on the bench again,” he said. “For sure I can say that that’s not going to happen. So they can decide, and my representatives can decide with them, but it’s definitely not good enough.”

However, he said he wouldn’t go as far as to say he had played his last game with RSL. Movsisyan scored seven goals this season to tie for the team high.

Movsisyan was rumored to be in transfer talks both within MLS and abroad during the summer transfer window. None amounted to anything, but the 30-year-old designated player said his representatives are having conversations with RSL about next season.

Rusnák gets the call from Slovakia

Albert Rusnák is headed to Slovakia this week to re-join the national team. Slovakia’s 2018 World Cup hopes may have been dashed after October World Cup qualifying matches, but it still has friendlies to play.

Rusnák’s call-up for the November friendlies comes less than a month after his first start for his country in a 3-0 win over Malta on Oct. 8.

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