[VIDEO PICK: The Jitterbug] Born on May 24, 1982 in Indiana, DaMarcus Beasley has traveled the world with a ball at his feet and on Wednesday one of the most versatile American players ever is set to make his 100th U.S. national team appearance opposite Belgium in Cleveland, just 200 miles from his hometown of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Part of the inaugural class at the U.S. U-17 Bradenton Residency, Beasley was named second best player at the 1999 U-17 World Cup. A forward, winger, midfielder, and currently Jurgen Klinsmann’s left back, Beasley has played in three World Cups since his first U.S. appearance against China in 2001.
His pro career began on the Chicago Fire as an early star of the MLS, he won two Dutch crowns at PSV Eindhoven, played in 18 EPL games for Manchester City, and won two Scottish titles with Rangers. After a tough year in Germany an unlikely locale brought rejuvenation to Beasley’s club and national team careers -- Mexico.
“Puebla has given me a great opportunity to play and to basically bring me back to life,” Beasley told Soccer by Ives.
Career highlights: “The 2002 World Cup, starting my first game against Portugal, and winning, that’s definitely a highlight. Also scoring my first goal in the Gold Cup against Korea. Those two will stick with me forever.”
On 100 caps: “I’m honored to play for this team, for this country, to go out and wear this crest across my chest every time we go out and hear the national anthem. Hopefully, it’s not over yet.”
In 2005, the 148 lb jitterbug started at the San Siro against an AC Milan team including Kaka, Cafu, Andrea Pirlo and Paolo Maldini, becoming the first American ever to play in a Champions League semifinal -- not bad for a kid from Indiana. Here’s the Beez in his prime with PSV…
And here’s Beasley scoring the clincher in a 2-0 win over Mexico in 2005, which qualified the U.S. for the 2006 World Cup ...