Chester, Pa. • The experience never gets old.
Simply being selected for the MLS All-Star Game is quite an accomplishment. This was the second consecutive All-Star appearance for Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman.
Beckerman entered as a substitute in the 57th minute and earned the assist on Eddie Johnson's game-winning goal in stoppage time as the MLS All-Stars defeated English Premier League club Chelsea FC 3-2 Wednesday night before a PPL Park-record crowd of 19,236.
"In this game, you don't take anything for granted," Beckerman said. "Each season is a new challenge, and to be selected for the All-Star Game again is very meaningful. I'm truly honored to be here among this bunch of incredible players."
Three other RSL players were named to MLS All-Stars as part of the inactive roster goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defender Jamison Olave and forward Fabian Espindola. The inactive roster is chosen by a league-wide player vote.
Just because this was an All-Star Game didn't mean Beckerman was going to alter his game he played his usual aggressive style against Chelsea FC.
"I only know one way to play," said Beckerman, who has four goals and four assists this season. "Sure, I had fun, but once you're in there, it's about playing hard and winning. I think you have to take it like that or you'll lose that edge. Trust me, I had a blast out there. I also gave it everything I had like I always do. That's important."
During the season, Beckerman competes like crazy against these MLS players.
On this one night, they were teammates. And those teammates left the All-Star experience with an incredible amount of respect for Beckerman.
"Kyle is a great player and he plays with such intensity," said L.A. Galaxy forward Landon Donovan. "You can see it in training. You can also see how much fun he's having, too. It's a great combination. I was honored to be his teammate on the All-Star team."
Beckerman entered this game unsure of how much he would play. It didn't matter what his role would be. He simply wanted a role.
"Hey, this is the All-Star Game and when you're a part of it, you feel very good," Beckerman said. "When your name is called, you just do what you've always done. I got some good minutes in the second half, and it was a great night to be part of this game. This is an experience I'll cherish and I hope there are many more."
How about next season?
"I'm not worried about that," Beckerman said with a grin. "Once we get back to work at RSL, we have a lot of work to do. I'm excited for the rest of the season to see where our club can go. I'm going to remember this experience and then focus on my club the rest of the way."
MLS All-Stars 3, Chelsea 2
R Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman assists on the game-winning goal by Eddie Johnson of the Seattle Sounders.
• Chris Wondolowski (San Jose) and Chris Pontius (D.C. United) also score goals for the MLS All-Stars.
• Frank Lampard and John Terry scored for Chelsea, the touring English Premier League team.