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Kyle Bekker

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Always felt that Nelsen was terrible for Bekker and he needed more time and more chances on what was a terrible team to develop and was never given them for whatever reason. He always seemed to grow and get better in his role whenever he played several games in a row but then it was always back to the bench for several months .I'll admit I have a bias when it comes to Bekker but it's good to see him developing into the type of player that could at least be an MLS regular.

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Biello is using Bekker correctly. He's simplified Bekker's role to kind of a deep lying, short pass guy and not putting a lot of responsibility on him. Having a 5 man midfield also covers Bekker's lack of mobility and makes it easier for him defensively.

At least that's my read of what Bekker's role from IMFC games I've seen this season. At TFC, it felt like he had too much pressure on him to be some sort of playmaker and justify the high draft pick. It looks like he doesn't have much pressure on him at IMFC. Bekker's not going to be a key midfielder for IMFC. But a role player seems to suit him well.

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I feel the majority of criticism on him was simply because we felt we had better options at the time.  At the same time, when a player is 23-24 (which he was when getting criticized on the daily) but shows potential and wears the maple leaf with pride, we should always support him.

Fact; sometimes certain players take a bit longer to develop. Who knows, confidence, reading the game, handling pressure, playing time etc.... multiple reasons.  My understanding though is that every coach who has ever coached him, says he has great ball control and a strong skill set.

A bit of a super stretch here but it would be cool if by 27 he was like the Canadian Vardy.

Cool, and props to see him putting his head down and doing work.

Edited by apbsmith

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"..... Bekker to showcase his ability to move the ball forward, and that is what he did all night, effectively. On multiple occasions, Bekker was responsible for the ball moving up the field after having stopped Seattle on the attack. This is what the Impact need if they want to be the possession counter attacking team that they seem to game plan as.

Even when not moving forward, Bekker seemed to be the linchpin of passing trees, being the playmaking quarterback with great vision, able to move the ball with ease to attacking options. Unfortunately, the attackers were not able to take advantage of the sublime service tonight."

Opinioned article, but very promising to read.  Perhaps that is what Floro saw and why he kept giving him run outs. Not to mention the team tactics Floro plays. Let's just hope he keeps seeing playing time and keeps developing.... in the right direction. :) 

Edited by apbsmith

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2 hours ago, apbsmith said:

I feel the majority of criticism on him was simply because we felt we had better options at the time.  At the same time, when a player is 23-24 (which he was when getting criticized on the daily) but shows potential and wears the maple leaf with pride, we should always support him.

Fact; sometimes certain players take a bit longer to develop. Who knows, confidence, reading the game, handling pressure, playing time etc.... multiple reasons.  My understanding though is that every coach who has ever coached him, says he has great ball control and a strong skill set.

A bit of a super stretch here but it would be cool if by 27 he was like the Canadian Vardy.

Cool, and props to see him putting his head down and doing work.

It's a problem with a lot of NCAA developed players, esp attacking midfielders IMO. NCAA game is so slow in comparison to MLS. For first few years in MLS, Bekker had zero composure on the ball because MLS defenders would be right on top of him in comparison to NCAA when he had loads of time to make his pass. 

And nobody said Bekker is blessed with a high footy IQ required to be a playmaker. Good technically, but that was about it. 

I think Bekker would have benefitted greatly from playing in USL instead of basically wasting all those years at Boston College. He's 25 and finally he looks like he's dipping his feet in MLS pool without drowning. Hopefully he'll be a late bloomer, but he's already very late IMO.

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I posted about Bekker's play in this match in the MLS thread but to reiterate he had a very strong game. I would have ranked our best players as Toia, Bekker, Camara instead of the author's Bekker, Toia, Camara but full marks to Bekker for coming out and really making a case for a starting position. If he can keep playing like that when Donadel comes back he should keep his spot and then have a stronger partner than Alexander (who is decent but mediocre). Unfortunately some of our usual good players did not have their strongest games, Piatti, Ontivero, Ciman, Bush though as the author mentions we still played better than Seattle for most of the game and were really unlucky not to get at least a tie but one poorly defended corner ruined things. He does need to trust himself with the ball a bit more and carry it instead of always looking for the pass even if his passing is quite good. He did set up a number of nice plays that our forwards should have done better on. 

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2 hours ago, Yohan said:

Biello is using Bekker correctly. He's simplified Bekker's role to kind of a deep lying, short pass guy and not putting a lot of responsibility on him. Having a 5 man midfield also covers Bekker's lack of mobility and makes it easier for him defensively.

At least that's my read of what Bekker's role from IMFC games I've seen this season. At TFC, it felt like he had too much pressure on him to be some sort of playmaker and justify the high draft pick. It looks like he doesn't have much pressure on him at IMFC. Bekker's not going to be a key midfielder for IMFC. But a role player seems to suit him well.

I think that's pretty much my assessment, too.

4 hours ago, Coramoor said:

Always felt that Nelsen was terrible for Bekker and he needed more time and more chances on what was a terrible team to develop and was never given them for whatever reason.

 

6 hours ago, shermanator said:

He's better than Osorio, obviously. 

I really believe that had Osorio not emerged as he did in the same rookie year, Bekker may have been afforded more time and minutes.  However, that's certainly debatable.

 

2 hours ago, Yohan said:

At TFC, it felt like he had too much pressure on him to be some sort of playmaker and justify the high draft pick.

Don't forget that just prior to the draft it was reported that he was a work permit issue away from signing with Crystal Palace.  And a few years prior to that, it was reported that he was only a work permit issue away from being in Ajax's set up.  Regardless of whether or not these reports came from his camp, they certainly heighten the expectations.

 

3 hours ago, apbsmith said:

Fact; sometimes certain players take a bit longer to develop. Who knows, confidence, reading the game, handling pressure, playing time etc.... multiple reasons.

Interesting in that I saw/see him as an early bloomer because of his exposure but had plateaued in his development.  The analogy I use is from hockey where a player who was an offensive force in junior finds he can't do the same at the next level but discovers his niche as checker/defensive specialist role player.  As I said in another thread, he may have found and accepted his role.  I hope he continues to feature and be prominent.

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40 minutes ago, Grizzly said:

He does need to trust himself with the ball a bit more and carry it instead of always looking for the pass even if his passing is quite good. He did set up a number of nice plays that our forwards should have done better on. 

I don't think 1 on 1 play with the ball is a strength.  His default is to pass it off to the safest option as opposed to being able to turn/dribble out of pressure. Not sure how much more that is going to improve.

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44 minutes ago, BearcatSA said:

I don't think 1 on 1 play with the ball is a strength.  His default is to pass it off to the safest option as opposed to being able to turn/dribble out of pressure. Not sure how much more that is going to improve.

Agreed. Bekker is so terrible with dribbling. What I think he should develop is his first touch to buy himself half a yard away from charging defender and pass to a teammate, short or long. Bekker can pass, and he has a strong weak foot too. 

No reason why he can't model his game like Pirlo's, if he can develop that first touch and composure under pressure.

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10 hours ago, Yohan said:

No reason why he can't model his game like Pirlo's, if he can develop that first touch and composure under pressure.

I see him as a Sandro Grande/Martin Nash type of central mid.

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1 hour ago, BearcatSA said:

I see him as a Sandro Grande/Martin Nash type of central mid.

Funny you say that, just the other day i was thinking about Nash (must have seen him in an old clip) and for a time, he was a wicked playmaker and assisted on just about every goal we scored, that's back when we were able to score a few goals for some of you too young to remember :)

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If I can weigh in ... Bekker never was a #3 overall pick and I always felt Payne selected him and Welshman either to cozy up to Sigma or as some kind of feel good hometown boys PR move to start his time at TFC in the good books. I can't imagine anyone not thinking Farrell would have been useful over the last three years, moreso than Bekker ever was.

If Bekker had gone where he was predicted - further down in the first round or into the second, likely to a US team, he would have been able to play without any kind of #3 pick hype around him. A few of the teams who were interested already had associations with USL teams, so even that might have been an option.

All aside - he does have a skillset that IMO is good enough for MLS and glad he's getting a chance with Montreal.

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Bekker is V1.0 of Sigma's strategy: technically strong players with high soccer IQ. Like any V1.0, he isn't the best (though I think MLS starter in the right set-up), but he's a herald of things to come. If Sigma keeps up the pace of putting out a technically strong MLS-quality player every year or two, I think it will do more than deepen the player pool, it will change the type of game we can play. Less hoofball, more possession. 

Edited by Complete Homer

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34 minutes ago, Complete Homer said:

Bekker is V1.0 of Sigma's strategy: technically strong players with high soccer IQ. Like any V1.0, he isn't the best (though I think MLS starter in the right set-up), but he's a herald of things to come. If Sigma keeps up the pace of putting out a technically strong MLS-quality player every year or two, I think it will do more than deepen the player pool, it will change the type of game we can play. Less hoofball, more possession. 

Which is why hopefully we start to use players like Bekker and Osorio more.  It will require patience and shift of mentality but better in the long run if we trend towards skill and soccer IQ not size and strength.

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3 hours ago, BearcatSA said:

I see him as a Sandro Grande/Martin Nash type of central mid.

I too have often seen Kyle as a poor man's Martin Nash type of player. If he can develop other aspects of his game (as Yohan points out above), there will always be a place on a team for great ball distributors - especially on a Canadian team.

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1 hour ago, David C. said:

I too have often seen Kyle as a poor man's Martin Nash type of player. If he can develop other aspects of his game (as Yohan points out above), there will always be a place on a team for great ball distributors - especially on a Canadian team.

I think you are really overrating Nash here to call Bekker a poor man's Nash. He and Grande were both better than average ball distributors for the national team at that time but had a lot of weaknesses in their game especially defensively which were particularly exposed when playing for the national team. That is why there was always lots of debate on them here about whether they should be played, they gave us some lacking offensive skill and passing ability but at the same time hurt us in a lot of other ways. I don't think either would have lasted very long in today's MLS, just too many weaknesses. Bekker is a much more complete player than either of them even if there are aspects in his play that he needs to work on. He always has had a really good skill set though, at TFC his weaknesses were in not making enough effort, not being physical enough and not knowing where to be on the pitch. He seems to have improved a lot in all those areas indeed he was probably the player in the last game who made the most effort and always seemed to be in the right place to receive a pass or break up an opposing attack. I think he also has the room and ability to learn to get past opposing players one on one. He is not Oduro but not slow either and he has decent ball skills, he just needs to do this more often. At one point last game he got the ball and looked to pass but no one was open and then realized he was under no pressure and could carry the ball which he did and then did pretty well and set up a nice play but it seemed like his second choice to maintain possession and had he decided right away to carry the ball instead of looking for the pass option first he might have gotten even in a better position before the defenders reacted. So far with Montreal he has looked good in every game he has played but he hasn't played a lot of minutes either so we shouldn't making him the new Canadian Soccer Jesus/Messi just yet either. Possibly he is getting better coaching or making more effort in Montreal or both but he needs to maintain consistency in this and keep improving. A funny thing about him is with his blond hair he really stands out on the pitch so you always notice both every good play and every mistake he makes much more than you do with other players.

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Maybe it's just my perception, but I don't know if being on an MLS team is a good thing for a young player's skill development. There's so much emphasis on huff and puff whereas, in another culture and playing style, a player with Bekker or Osorio's attributes might progress better. I've seen remarks here that Osorio is much better defensively now than when he started at TFC, but I found him much more dangerous and enjoyable to watch in his rookie year than I do now.

Edited by rightback

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35 minutes ago, Grizzly said:

I think you are really overrating Nash here to call Bekker a poor man's Nash. He and Grande were both better than average ball distributors for the national team at that time but had a lot of weaknesses in their game especially defensively...

Possibly but until this season, Bekker looked like he was playing himself out of MLS (and not in a good way).

Personally, I really enjoyed Nash's game and thought he was an underrated set-up/distribution player, whose defensive limitations could easily be covered by surrounding him with defensive players. In any case, part of my "poor man's Nash" comment was meant past-tense (before he broke out a bit this season), figuring that Martin Nash was a good comparison for him early on.

I do get your points though. Cheers!

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On 6 april 2016 at 4:35 AM, BearcatSA said:

I don't think 1 on 1 play with the ball is a strength.  His default is to pass it off to the safest option as opposed to being able to turn/dribble out of pressure. Not sure how much more that is going to improve.

I like it. Why get yourself into troubles doing something you're not good at? Play to your strengths and keep it simple. 

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19 hours ago, rightback said:

Maybe it's just my perception, but I don't know if being on an MLS team is a good thing for a young player's skill development. There's so much emphasis on huff and puff whereas, in another culture and playing style, a player with Bekker or Osorio's attributes might progress better. I've seen remarks here that Osorio is much better defensively now than when he started at TFC, but I found him much more dangerous and enjoyable to watch in his rookie year than I do now.

It's to do with the roster.  In 2013 TFC was awful, Osorio was one of our main attacking threats and was given some more freedom whereas now he (along with the rest of the squad) is a support player for Giovinco, Bradley and Altidore.  I think he is a better player now than in 2013 but I could see how someone would find his play disheartening.. of course we all hoped he would be potting 10+ a season now.  

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6 hours ago, shamrock said:

I like it. Why get yourself into troubles doing something you're not good at? Play to your strengths and keep it simple. 

Which is fine most of the time but it's invaluable to have a guy in that position who can turn out of pressure on his own (like Hutchinson can do or JDG used to be able to do) and initiate the attack instead of the ball going backwards to the lesser skilled guys in the back line.

It's been a while since I have seen a guy generate such opinions from posters in favour or against (perhaps JDG in his TFC days).  If he has a poor or lesser showing he gets unreasonably and unnecessarily sh*t upon by some but when he has one strong or even just a solid effort in a match he gets ordained as a potential Xavi by some others.  Go figure.    

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