SANDY — Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman has been named by U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the 22-man roster that will represent the United States on Aug. 10 in a friendly against CONCACAF rival Mexico.
Beckerman will join his U.S. teammates in the group's first-ever camp under Klinsmann on Sunday in Philadelphia, where the U.S. team and staff prepare for Wednesday's match against Mexico at 7 p.m. MDT at Lincoln Financial Field. The match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision.
Beckerman will be available to Real Salt Lake for this weekend's home contest against the New York Red Bulls, and will rejoin the team for the Aug. 13 match at Toronto FC.
"I'm always excited to have the chance to represent my country," said the 29-year-old Beckerman, who last wore the USA badge during six appearances (five starts) in the 2009 Gold Cup, in which the U.S. finished second to Mexico. "It's a great opportunity to get myself familiar with the new staff, and hopefully put myself in a better position with the team."
Beckerman returns to the scene where he scored his lone goal for the United States, against Panama in Philadelphia back on July 18, 2009, in the Gold Cup quarterfinal, an equalizer in a game eventually won by the United States, 2-1.
With Thursday's invitation, Beckerman becomes the fifth Real Salt Lake player tabbed to represent his country in recent months, as Arturo Alvarez (El Salvado), Will Johnson (Canada), and Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) each participated in the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. RSL's Nick Rimando was named to the United States team for that tourney as well, but did not see action.
"Always pleased when our players receive the opportunity to represent their national teams," said RSL coach Jason Kreis, "as we have full respect and appreciation for these limited chances players get to represent their country. I'm thankful, as well, that our captain will not miss any of our upcoming MLS matches. He has been deserving of these types of chances for his entire RSL career, and we wish him the best of luck against Mexico."
Beckerman is one of seven MLS players named to Klinsmann's debut squad, with the 16-year-old league one of nine professional leagues in eight countries represented on the 22-man roster. German-based players number six total from the top two divisions and the Mexico first division sends four. This weekend's RSL opponent, the New York Bulls — have two players on the roster, the most from any single club.
The match on Aug. 10 will mark the 59th meeting between the USA and Mexico. The U.S. has a record of 15-32-11 against Mexico in a series that dates back to 1934, but since 1990, the U.S. holds a 13-10-8 advantage. In the teams' most significant matchup, the United States defeated Mexico 2-0 in the Round of 16 of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The match will be the first for Klinsmann since the former FIFA World Cup and European Championship winner was introduced as the U.S. coach on Monday.
Klinsmann has named long-time friend and colleague Martin Vasquez — currently the Director of the Real Salt Lake Youth Academy at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Ariz. — to his staff for next week's preparations. Vasquez was an assistant to Klinsmann at Bayern Munich prior to returning stateside and serving as both head and assistant coaches for Chivas USA in Major League Soccer.
"One of the goals of the roster for this game and moving forward is to create competition at each position," said Klinsmann. "There are many players who are established as well as many players who will get opportunities, and we want there to be a healthy contest for spots on the roster. We will get a good look at where each player is as quickly as we can during the short time in camp, and we will finish with an exciting game against Mexico."
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