Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman shared experiences that led to his successful career in professional soccer during his speech Wednesday in the Grand Ballroom at Utah Valley University.
Beckerman talked about his road to earning a spot on the U.S. men’s national team to participate in the 2014 World Cup. It started when head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who, in his first game as the U.S. coach, placed him in the starting line up in a match versus Mexico in 2011. He said that under the previous head coach for the national team, the opportunity to earn a spot on the World Cup roster never came. The opportunity to play versus Mexico helped him fulfill his childhood dream of representing his country in the World Cup.
“It was a matter of time before I had a chance. I grabbed that opportunity and ran with it,” said Beckerman. “I never took it for granted and kept working and kept a positive attitude.”
Another experience that lead to his success came from the beginning of his professional soccer career. After his experience playing for the U-17 U.S. national team, he said he needed to make a choice whether to go to college or play professionally. He chose to go professional at 18, when he would find out as a young player it would take hard work to become successful.
“I kept working hard because one day I knew I’d get my opportunity,” said Beckerman. “We all have different dreams and goals. For me it was no different.”
Another highlight of his career includes being traded to Real Salt Lake in 2007, and that lead him to become the leader he is today. The Real Salt Lake leader said that this opportunity was “the best thing that could have happened” to him. He set a goal when he came to Salt Lake to help create a winning atmosphere with his mindset. He brought his work ethic with him to influence the team in achieving the success it has seen in recent years.
“To change to a winning mentality you gotta do it in training every day. We started to do little things to make us start winning,” said Beckerman.
Following the question and answer period, which lasted 30 minutes, Beckerman left the stage to a standing ovation from the audience of an estimated 200 people. The audience included many fans and students, including both the UVU men’s and women’s soccer teams.