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

TAGS:  world cup, world cup 2014


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



Recent Soccer America Confidential
Whitecaps own up to their shortcomings in 2016    
The plight of defending champion Portland has been a running saga all season yet its foe ...
Drogba and Saputo show the power of 'big personalities'    
Players on big salaries often bring along big egos as well. Montreal owner Joey Saputo has ...
What was the value of the USA's bumpy win in Cuba?    
The USA's 2-0 win in a friendly over Cuba on Friday marked its first return to ...
Paul Arriola takes advantage of opportunities for USA    
On and off the field, fast starts are normal for Paul Arriola. He scored a goal ...
Options could lead to makeover of U.S. midfield    
Strong performances by several players in friendlies against Cuba and New Zealand could create a logjam ...
Bob Bradley steps into a tough new world    
Last season, 11 of 20 Premier League clubs changed managers, including major stars such as Louis ...
New NASL owner expects to see difference in how league operates    
The interlocking and overlapping elements of North American pro soccer are among the issues facing owners ...
So far, Jordan Morris' decisions have been the right ones    
U.S. forward Jordan Morris turned down a move to German club Werder Bremen, which is rooted ...
MLS Playoff Watch: Breaking down the Eastern Conference's battle of bubble teams    
With a month of the regular season to be played, no Eastern Conference team has clinched ...
Strenghtened Sounders set aside distractions to focus on postseason quest    
The midseason arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro and the return to fitness of Roman Torres has bolstered ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives