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Beckerman a winner, again

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Kyle Beckerman is undefeated when Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids have met up in 2007, and he couldn't be happier about it.

"It felt great," he said. "Anytime we can get a win against Colorado, or any team right now is good for us. Personally it felt great getting back at the old team."

Acquired in a trade with Colorado in mid-July, Beckerman was on the winning side with the Rapids in the first meetings on April 30 when Colorado had a 2-0 win at Rice-Eccles. He even scored a goal in that game against his current team. Real and Colorado played to a 1-1 draw just 11 days later in Denver. With Saturday night's 1-0 victory for Real, the midfielder is 2-0-1 in the three games.

The win also gives the man in the middle the only chance for a player on Real to become a three-time winner of the Rocky Mountain Cup, a trophy given to the winner of the season series between the two squads, something Beckerman won the first two years with the Rapids.

"We put ourselves in a position to do it, and I know the fans here would love it," said Beckerman of evening the series at 1-1-1. "We put ourselves in a position to do it and hopefully we can go out and finish the job."

Beckerman has played every minute, including Saturday, for RSL in the 11 games since the trade. Against the Rapids, however, he had something different occur. With Eddie Pope on the bench, he also wore the captain's armband for the team.

"I didn't expect it. Before I went out I was given it and I take it as an honor every time I get to wear it. I tried to do my best to lead the team and do the work out there and lead us to the win," Beckerman said. "I didn't need any more motivation, but for Jason (Kreis) to give that, it felt really good, and I thank him for it."

Beckerman may have had all the motivation he needed to play inspired soccer against his former mates, but he plays every game as if it is the World Cup Championship.

"It would be hard for me to place this game above any of the others because for me and the entire staff we feel Kyle has played at that kind of level every game," added Kreis of Beckerman's effort. "Tonight was fantastic, but all of them have been fantastic."

Real has three more games before facing the Rapids in Colorado on Oct. 20 in the season finale, with the winner taking the Cup.

"It would be a real nice way to cap off the season," said Beckerman. "Any win is nice, but it would be extra special to get that one."


E-mail: mblack@desnews.com