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Beasley ready for Rangers' duty
May 14th, 2008 7AM
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[UEFA CUP] American DaMarcus Beasley traveled with Rangers to Manchester, but he is not expected to be included in the Scottish club's squad for Wednesday's UEFA Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 2:30 pm ET) that would make him the first American to play in a European cup final.

After recovering from a knee injury that sidelined him for six months, Beasley has resumed training and was in Rangers' gameday squad for its Scottish Premier League game last Saturday against Dundee United.

Manager Walter Smith already has ruled out four players -- keeper Allan McGregor, Chris Burke, Steven Naismith and Beasley -- for the Zenit game, and midfielder Kevin Thomson was hobbling after being injured in the 3-1 win over Dundee United.

Smith will still have plenty of opportunity to use Beasley.

Rangers still has three Premier League games and the Scottish FA Cup final to play, in addition to the UEFA Cup  final. It already won the Scottish League Cup and should overtake Celtic in the Premier League.

Smith said Zenit was favored after its demolition of Bayern Munich in the semifinals.

"Their 1-1 draw in Munich was terrific, the 4-0 win at home was exceptional and was probably one of the best results in European competition this season," Smith said Tuesday. "That is the measure of Zenit and how highly I regard them."

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