, the only American to play in four World Cups, announced his retirement from international soccer at the age of 32. Beasley, who will continue
to play for the Houston Dynamo, began his career as a winger, but his international career was rehabilitated under Jurgen Klinsmann
, who turned him into a left
Left back has always been a problem position for the USA, dating back more than two decades. By the time, Klinsmann got around to putting Beasley for the World Cup qualifier against
Costa Rica in March 2013, he had already tried out nine players at the position.
“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. [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.”
Beasley became just the second player to every minute of every game at left back in the seven
tournaments in which the USA has participated dating back to 1990. Paul Caligiuri
, who was naturally right-footed, played in midfield for the USA at Italia '90,
but Bora Milutinovic
moved him to left back for the 1994 World Cup, where he played all 360 minutes.
Beasley burst on the international scene in
1999 when he won the Silver Ball behind Golden Ball winner Landon Donovan at the Under-17 World Cup in New Zealand. He debuted for the senior national team in 2001 and started along with Donovan, both
only 20, at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea. He played in all three games, and started two, at the 2006 World Cup, but played just 11 minutes in one appearance, against Algeria, in 2010. Kasey Keller
(1990, 1998, 2002, 2006) and Claudio Reyna
(1994, 1998, 2002, 2006) as the only USA players to be a part
of four World Cup teams. Keller was an unused reserve in 1990 and 2002, while Reyna was injured just before the 1994 World Cup and did not play.
Beasley’s 11 caps in the World Cup
tie for second-most in U.S. men's history, and his 121 appearances rank fifth on the all-time list since debuting in 2001.