Kyle Beckerman

The two-way midfielder stars for Real Salt Lake and is carving out a niche on the U.S. national team.

Fvt_beckermankyle_isi_usmntjt0526122425_qlead John Todd/isiphotos.com

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF SOCCER?

My earliest memory of soccer is playing with my youth club South Bowie when I was about 5 years old. My parents were my coaches. 

WHO WAS YOUR SOCCER HERO GROWING UP?

I started playing soccer because my brother played, so he was definitely my first soccer hero. Later on, as I learned more about the sport, my heroes were the entire USA National Team and the original Ronaldo.

DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST EXPERIENCE SUITING UP FOR THE U.S.

My first experience suiting up for the USMNT was in L.A. against Denmark in 2007. I came on as a sub in the second half. That experience gave me goose bumps, but I had to get past it quick and get myself to believe that I could play at that level, and then do it. I had a few good touches and a good shot that didn't miss by much.

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A SOCCER PLAYER?

The ability to make your teammates better. 

WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST DISLIKE IN AN OPPONENT?

Players who cheat the game, dive, and fake injuries.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO YOUR SOCCER SUCCESS?

Consistency. Always being ready to play at the same high level, whether it's for practice or a game. 

WHAT IS ONE SOCCER SKILL YOU WANT TO IMPROVE?

I'm always working on achieving the perfect balance of offense and defense for the team.

WHO HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR DEVELOPMENT?

So many to mention, but my parents have been a huge help in my development. They have always supported my career and have given me meaningful advice to make sure I play to the best of my ability. In addition, I never stop learning from others. I still try to pick up as much as I can from anyone I think plays soccer well.

WHO IS YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND IN THE GAME?

I've been lucky to gain many friends through soccer. Too many to mention. 

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST SOCCER ACHIEVEMENT?

Winning the MLS Cup in 2009 with Real Salt Lake. With the USMNT, beating Mexico in Azteca. 

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST SOCCER DISAPPOINTMENT?

Losing the Gold Cup final in 2009 with USMNT. Also, losing the CONCACAF Champions League Final with RSL in 2011. 

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED FROM THE GAME?

You never reach a point when you're good enough. There is always something more to learn and to improve on. 

WHO ARE THE MOST TALENTED TEAMMATES YOU HAVE PLAYED ALONGSIDE?

Pablo Mastroeni, Javier Morales, Carlos Valderrama, Andy Williams, Mark Chung, Preki, John Spencer, and Landon Donovan.

WHO ARE THE TOUGHEST OPPONENTS YOU HAVE LINED UP AGAINST?

Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez, Frank Ribery, Karim Benzema, Joe Cole, Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs, Frank Lampard, and Riquelme.

IF YOU WEREN'T A PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER, WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR A LIVING?

I'd be a school teacher like both my parents were. I'd probably teach history or P.E. 

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE DEFINITION OF SUCCESS IN THE GAME?

Helping your team win more games than lose.

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