Former Major League Soccer veteran, Real Salt Lake star, and U.S. Men’s National Team member Kyle Beckerman has been named the new head coach of the Utah Valley University men’s soccer program, the school announced on Monday. Beckerman becomes the second head coach in the program’s short history, which will begin its eighth season of competition this coming fall.
Beckerman retired after a monumentally successful 21-year professional and international career in December. He spent 14 of those seasons in Utah with RSL, where he was a captain and led the team to a 2009 MLS Cup. He also had 58 caps as a member of the U.S. National Team, including starting appearances in the 2014 World Cup. In 2020, he was named one of Major League Soccer’s 25 Greatest Players of all-time.
“We’ve watched Kyle Beckerman for many years and knew he had a bright future in coaching. His reputation in the locker room, on the pitch, and in the community are second to none,” said UVU Director of Athletics Dr. Jared Sumsion. “His leadership, tenacity and grit as a player and captain are attributes that I’m excited to see manifest in our program with our student-athletes—both on the pitch and in the classroom. He’s beloved in the soccer world and in the state of Utah. He’s the perfect fit for our program now and into the future. We’re elated to welcome Kyle, Kate and Constantine to the Wolverine family.”
“I’m very excited to be joining Utah Valley University and can’t wait to get started coaching this team. This program already has a solid foundation and I know we can accomplish big things with the support of President Tuminez, Jared Sumsion, and our 12th Wolverines,” said Beckerman. “One of the most rewarding parts of my career was when I had the opportunity to help mentor my teammates in leading by example and sharing the knowledge I’ve gained over the years. I’m looking forward to stepping into that role full time and dedicating myself to developing these young student-athletes into better players and people. “
At the time of his retirement, Beckerman was Major League Soccer’s all-time leader in games played (498), games started (461) and minutes played (41,164) among field players. He was a nine-time MLS All-Star and a four-time club MVP.
One of Utah’s most recognizable and notable athletes over the last decade, Beckerman is also known for his work in the community. He is a three-time Jordan Guernsey Humanitarian of the Year award winner, highlighted by the “Light the Res” project that brought solar energy to homes on the Navajo Reservation.
“Kyle Beckerman knows what passion and excellence in soccer mean. His experience as a professional player and his outstanding character make me so excited to have him as a leader at UVU,” said Astrid S. Tuminez, president of UVU. “I believe that he will inspire our entire community—student-athletes, staff, and faculty. And he will, for sure, bring men’s soccer to the next level.”
Beckerman’s MLS career began in 2000, at just 18 years old, when he signed with the Miami Fusion. In 2002 he became a member of the Colorado Rapids, where he had the best offensive season of his MLS career in 2006, finishing with seven goals and four assists. In 2007, he was traded to Real Salt Lake, and became captain in 2008.
RSL reached the postseason in seven straight seasons, including the 2009 MLS Cup win in a shootout against the LA Galaxy. During his tenure as captain, RSL won the MLS Cup in 2009 and reached finals in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and the 2013 MLS Cup.
His time with the U.S. National Team included appearances in the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2009, 2013, and 2015, and the Copa American Tournament in 2007 and 2016. He was named MVP of the Gold Cup Final in 2013 after leading the team to the Gold Cup Title. On January 29, 2013, Beckerman wore the captain’s armband for the U.S. against Canada.
A native of Crofton, Maryland, Beckerman and his wife, Kate, reside in Salt Lake City. They have one son, Constantine. His parents, Meg and Paul, were both educators and his brother, Todd, is the head wrestling coach at Brown University. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys spending time with his family, reading books, and being in the beautiful Utah mountains fly fishing.