Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
DaMarcus Beasley's roller coaster ride on upswing
by Mike Woitalla, May 24th, 2014 2:10AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ
TAGS:  world cup, world cup 2014

MOST COMMENTED

By Mike Woitalla

It's been a dozen years since the USA's greatest World Cup performance and only one player on the 2014 U.S. World Cup team, DaMarcus Beasley, was part of it.

Landon Donovan, cut from the 2014 World Cup team on Thursday, and Beasley were 20-year-olds on the Bruce Arena-coached squad that reached the quarterfinals at the 2002 World Cup.

Besides the beard, Beasley doesn’t look much different than he did back then, when his darting forays down the flank helped the USA upset pre-tournament favorite Portugal, 3-2, in the opener opening game in South Korea.

Now about to go to his fourth World Cup, Beasley recalled what Arena’s advice before his World Cup debut.

"He told me to have fun,” Beasley said before training earlier in the week at Stanford University.  "'Play how you always play. Forget the crowd. Forget about the World Cup and just play. Show why you’re here and why you’re going to start.’ Being a young kid, that information was great.”

The next two World Cups didn’t go as well for Beasley. He disappointed as the USA fell in the first round at Germany 2006 and played only 10 minutes at South Africa 2010.

His club career, which started in MLS at age 17, has also been a roller coaster.

In 2004, PSV Eindhoven coach Guus Hiddink acquired Beasley as a replacement for Arjen Robben. The Indiana product whose moves earned him the nickname “Jitterbug” from U-17 national team coach John Ellinger, became the first American to reach the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. During that run, Beasley scored four goals in 11 appearances. He won two Dutch league titles with PSV.

But injuries began to plague him. After a knee injury made him expendable at PSV, it sent him to Manchester City on loan. He had 11 EPL starts and seven appearances as a sub, scoring three goals. Then he played only 20 games for Glasgow Rangers in 2007-10.

The following season in Germany with Hannover 96 saw him play just four times. It was the move to Mexico’s Puebla in 2011 that put Beasley on the path to another World Cup.

Jurgen Klinsmann invited Beasley to the national team for its World Cup qualifier in March 2013 against Costa Rica, which would be played in a blizzard and end in a 1-0 win. Beasley, one of the USA’s most exciting attacking players ever, was asked to take on a different role.

“I’ve played a lot of different positions in the national team, from forward to left mid, right mid. Center mid, in the back,” Beasley said. “The left back came from the snow game against Costa Rica. He [Klinsmann] asked me if I could play it. Timmy Chandler was out. Fabian Johnson was out. Parky [Michael Parkhurst] was out. Every left back you could ever imagine was out.

“That was my first call-up for a while. He asked me if I could play it, so I said, ‘Yeah.’ That was it. He had confidence in me since that day to play that position and here I am now.”

Four days later, he started in the 0-0 tie against Mexico at Azteca Stadium, and later in 2013 he captained the USA to the Gold Cup title.

How does this U.S. squad compare to the 2002 team that outplayed but fell 1-0 to Germany in the quarterfinals?

“Now you have $6 to $8 million players on the team, so expectations have changed,” he says. “You have a lot of players at big clubs. It’s different from when I first came on the scene.

“It’s tough to say if we’re better than we were back then, because I think the 2002 team was a great team. It’s tough to compare. But the fans, the media and we expect more. We expect to get out of this group and we want to better that 2002 team and get past the quarterfinals.”


1 comment
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: May 25, 2014 at 7:15 p.m.
    I'm with Beasley- I wish for the US team to get past the quarter-finals. We have the talent, the training, the discipline, the perseverance; now we just need some luck!

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Walker Zimmerman joins the U.S. centerback pool with solid performance    
Two FC Dallas centerbacks were summoned to the first U.S, camp of 2017 and after Matt ...
Rare USA golazo inspires some hope    
One swallow doesn't make a summer, but the USA delivered something impressive with its goal in ...
Greg Garza, soccer wanderer, finds place to start anew, again    
A long voyage to several continents has led U.S. international Greg Garza to the MLS startup ...
With first Arena game out of the way, U.S. players can re-focus on task at hand    
The message going forward for the U.S, team after it opened 2017 by tying Serbia 0-0 ...
MLS expansion teams address their needs directly    
The first SuperDraft of the expansion teams United is in the books. Minnesota went for a ...
Family team effort helps Abu Danladi rise to MLS No. 1 pick    
Abu Danladi's mother was unable to come from Ghana to join him in Los Angeles and ...
MLS 2017: How Eastern Conference teams look on the eve of preseason    
The New York teams finished one-two in the regular season, but the conference's 2015 MLS Cup ...
MLS 2017: How Western Conference teams look on the eve of the SuperDraft    
No more Robbie Keane or Bruce Arena in L.A., a coaching change in Houston, and a ...
USA's January Camp: It's all about the here and now    
When Bruce Arena accepted the job as U.S. national team coach for a second time in ...
MLS Positional Awards: Bingham takes top goalkeeping spot    
It was a strange year for goalkeepers in MLS. Colorado conceded the fewest goals with two ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives