Sometimes, it is better to be lucky than good as the old saying goes. In one way, Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman and goalkeeper Nick Rimando were lucky because voting for the MLS All-Star team occurred while Beckerman and Rimando were getting mounds of worldwide publicity while playing with the US soccer team at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Beckerman became an overnight sensation in Brazil, starting in and playing well in every group stage game before sitting out the U.S. 2-1 loss to Belgium in the round of 16, while Rimando became the Americans' head cheerleader and never left the bench during the World Cup.
Thus All-Star voters had a good idea of who each player was--and on Wednesday, July 16 Beckerman and Rimando were both named to the MLS All-Star team by the fans who watched the RSL duo don the red, white and blue.
In all, eight players from the US soccer team were named to the MLS All-Star team--out of 11 players chosen. The other three players included Landon Donovan of the LA Galaxy--who was controversially left off the American side in Brazil--as well as European legends Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) and Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins, both of whom enjoyed resounding success as world-class players.
Make no mistake about it, if Beckerman and Rimando weren't good at their club sides, they certainly wouldn't be playing at this MLS All-Star Game in Portland featuring the best MLS has to offer against German powerhouse Bayern Munich. The MLS All-Stars victories against top European sides have been few and far between of late--despite these Euro powers being in preseason form.
Beckerman is Real Salt Lake's captain and was the Americans' starting holding midfielder during the World Cup. He has also appeared at the All-Star Game now for the eighth straight time, a legacy that few would argue is a a fluke.
Rimando has arguably been the best goalkeeper in MLS over the past several years. He is currently just one shutout away from achieving MLS' all-time record for shutouts and has been named an MLS All-Star four times in his illustrious career.
So inasmuch as some fans would say that Beckerman and Rimando only received the fans'nod because of the timing surrounding their participation at the World Cup, you would like to think that's false based on the body of work that the two have put in for club and country.
Either way, their work is hardly done with Bayern Munich coming to America and even their spots as starters at this All-Star are yet to be determined by the game's head coach, Portland Timbers head man Caleb Porter. But you have to like Beckerman's and Rimando's chances going into the big game.