Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FOR REAL: Kyle Beckerman

FOR REAL: Kyle Beckerman Pt. 1

1. What was it like growing up in Maryland? It was good. There was a lot of soccer. The whole area – Virginia, D.C., Maryland – a lot of soccer. A lot of good players come from that area so I was able to watch a lot of good soccer. Go to University of Maryland games, and a lot of players that played in the league played right at Maryland. So it was good. I got to see a lot of good soccer, and I was lucky to try and learn as much as I could at a young age.
2. Were you into soccer from a young age then? Yeah, right away. My brother played. He was older, so I got right into it and just loved it. My mom found out that the 1990 World Cup was coming, I guess it must have been some news out there about the US and that was the first one I saw and I was hooked.
3. Did you play any other sports growing up? Yeah I started wrestling and played soccer at the same age. And then played pretty much everything. Played baseball until coach pitch. Lacrosse is pretty big in Maryland. Did some swimming when I was really young. That’s probably about it. Yeah, they let me do whatever.
4. You went to Miami initially and got injured there, right? The first season I got there a little more than halfway through the season. It was pretty neat, Nick was there as a rookie too, Rimando, so it was great. I got down there. I stayed a week with the general manager, cause at that time that’s kind of what the young guys did, we were staying with the general manager. But I stayed there a week and then Nick said “yeah I got an extra room, you can come live with me”. So I kind of went and lived with him and we kind of clicked right away and became friends and it really helped out. The next year I broke my ankle, or my fibula. It was tough, but I definitely just kept in mind that you can be better after an injury like that. I just came back as strong and as fast as I could.
5. And then you went on to Colorado. Tell us about your time there. It was good. I mean Miami was kinda tough. We had a really good team in 2001 so it was tough to break the lineup. I was a little frustrated seeing some other guys playing that were on the same team as me. And so I got to Colorado and it happened where Pablo made the World Cup team and he was playing the same position as me. So when he left I still had to beat out some players but I started getting some playing time which was great. Started getting on the field. I think I started 5 games, and played in 15 or so. So it was really good. I was just finding my feet. Getting in. I got to play with Valderama which was really cool. It was neat watching him play. You know he’s a legend. Just being on the same field with him was really cool. So it was great to just start getting some minutes finally.
6. In your later years, there in Colorado, what do you about the Rocky Mountain Cup from that side? Yeah it was definitely heated for sure. I think what they got going on in Colorado – maybe it’s starting to change now – it’s definitely…there’s… everybody’s not on the same page. It seems like there’s the players versus the staff. It’s just an unhealthy thing. You can’t really…when your playing under… when the players are unhappy with the staff you can’t really say anything about it cause that’s the staff that’s playing the players. So when the Salt Lake fans were giving us a hard time, I think that was our chance to let some of our aggression out. When I look back on it, that’s what I feel kind of happened with the whole guys on the team taunting the fans, and stuff like that. It’s really more just an opportunity to let some frustration out which I think is more in the Colorado camp than it was toward the Salt Lake fans. It was just an opportunity to let it go. And the games seemed to be heated. They were close games, and both teams hadn’t won a trophy so it was a chance to win something.
7. So what did you think about the incident between Pablo and Checketts? I tried to stay away from it, but I still saw it. It was just two guys that are really passionate and emotional about the game, which is great. I thought it was awesome to see from the other side, even being on Colorado, to see an owner that was that involved, caused very rarely do you see that. Rarely do you see the owner at a game. For him to be not only at the game but be on the field and watching what was happening and getting angry about it was impressive. So I thought it was good. You never really want to see any fighting, which there never was going to be, but it was just two passionate people. I think Pablo was a little angry at what was said at him and what I said earlier about the frustration, and Checkett’s was mad that his team lost and lost the trophy.
8. Your last couple of years there in Colorado what was your role there with the team? Well at a certain point it got to where I felt like it was my team, it was me and Pablo. Pablo and I were the two longest players that had been there. So I kind of felt like this is our team. So I really tried to take on more of a role to do more things. Take more responsibility. I think it helped a lot. For a while I was the younger guy, didn’t take as much responsibility. As I got older, and got more years I felt like I can’t just sit back. I have to do more and provide more for the team, so we can get some wins. So I just got more aggressive I think.
9. What was your relationship, or how do you feel like you meshed with Clavijo? Yeah it was a tough situation. I always gave everything I had. I didn’t really like him as a coach, but he was the guy in charge. So I tried to listen to what he said, and really it was a weird thing that happened. Everything that I knew was fine. That last year was my first time getting to the All-Start Team. I got my first cap that year. And then I just came back from Copa America. Everything was starting to kind of take flight for me. So I was looking to take an even bigger role in Colorado. I think he might of…I don’t know… he just kind of…for all I knew…from what he told me…he told me that some teams were interested and that he told them “no chance”. So I thought maybe I’d be in Colorado for my whole career. So it was total shock when it happened. But I’m totally happy with it and I’m glad that it went down, and it’s a much more healthy situation here.
10. So when you’re traded like that how does that happen? Is it a phone call? Do they sit you down in the office? Well so I was laced up, and we go from the locker-room in the stadium to a practice field. I walked out to the practice field going to train, and the assistant coach came up and said “the coach want’s to talk to you in the locker-room". It was kind of strange a little bit. I kind of made a couple of jokes “okay I’m going to get traded”, just joking around. And everybody was just kind of laughing. And I’m thinking…we were kind of going through a tough time in Colorado and I’m thinking we’re just going to sit down and talk about what we need to do as a team to get through this. And that’s what he said “we’ve made a trade with Salt Lake”. And two days later I’m in Salt Lake.