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U.S. Men's National Team

Beasley ready to battle for World Cup spot

DaMarcus Beasley (JohnToddISI)

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com

  

By FRANCO PANIZO

As far as resumes go, there aren't many better on the U.S. national team than DaMarcus Beasley's. Two World Cup appearances, 90 national team caps and UEFA Champions League experience over the course of a decade is the kind of career most players could only dream of having.

As good as Beasley's resume is, it still won't guarantee him a place in the 2010 U.S. World Cup roster. Beasley will be battling against players much younger than him, with far less experience, but the 27-year-old winger still has a lot to prove if he is going to make Bob Bradley's 23-man roster.

"It's a different situation for myself, being the outside guy looking in," Beasley said. "I'm out here working hard and trying to get my butt back in the team."

Beasley fell out of the national team picture after a terrible run of form that also came after a disappointing European club season. He hit a lowpoint during the Confederations Cup, when he lazily turned the ball over on a play that led to Brazil's second goal in a 3-0 blowout.

He didn't play again for the national team in 2009, and didn't return to the fold until the team's 2-1 loss to the Netherlands, a match Beasley played well in. He nearly sparked a U.S. comeback against the Dutch and provided some evidence that he should still be considered a candidate for the World Cup.

Despite that performance, Beasley still enters camp as one of the players fighting for a seat on the plane to South Africa. He is battling with younger midfielders such as Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan and Robbie Rogers. That's unfamiliar territory for a player who has started in the past two World Cups.

"Obviously there is a little more pressure (than in 2006)," said Beasley. "One, because I'm a veteran, and two, personally, because I haven't made the team.

"There are 30 guys in and and seven guys who are going to be disappointed not making the roster," Beasley said. "I could be one of them. I'm just putting my head down, working hard and trying to get my feet back into it quickly, trying to make it hard for Bob to pick the team."

Beasley also acknowledges that his past season with Rangers was anything but a success. He began the season out of favor with manager Walter Smith, but enjoyed a good run of form in December, when he scored two goals and assisted on four others in a span of five games and showed his trademark speed and shiftiness on the wing.

Beasley looked to be on his way to a strong season, but a thigh injury sustained in training in late December sidelined him. Beasley recovered in late February, but never regained a starting role. Hecontributed minimally in the second half of the season, playing in just five matches as Rangers claimed its second consecutive Scottish League title.

"I feel like after I got injured I never really got a chance to go back to my December form, I never got a chance to play again after that," said Beasley. "It was difficult, but it is what it is. I'm here and all that's behind me now and it's time to get ready for the World Cup and trying to get back to my good form. Hopefully the two games that we play before the World Cup will get me ready for that."

Making the 23-man roster for the World Cup isn't the sole goal for Beasley this summer. Beasley is a free agent and he is hoping a good showing with the U.S. this summer can help attract European suitors. A return to MLS is a possibility for the former Chicago Fire player, but it's not an option he favors.

"I wouldn't rule (MLS) out, but my first option is definitely Europe," Beasley said.

Where he goes will likely hinge on how he does at the World Cup, assuming he makes the team. He isn't a lock, but his experience gives him an edge. He provides veteran savvy and versatility, two facets to his game that he plans to bring to the pre-World Cup camp.

"I have leadership roles and qualities that I can give to the younger guys," said Beasley. "But at the same time I feel like I'm 20 years old again trying to make the squad and trying to get on the pitch to try and be on the final roster for the World Cup."

137 comments
  • ThaDeuce

    Okay, Maybe something like this?

    Altidore

    Donovan-Dempsey-Beasley

    Bradley-Edu

    Pearce-Boca-onyewu-Dolo

    Howard

    This was mainly to show the 4-2-3-1 not the pearce v bornstein v boca v demeritt debate, but i’ll have to answer why i put pearce in.

    I hope that he shows well in camp, the we have the two inverted wingers coming in and we have two fullbacks who can fly up the wings and put in crosses.

    Just one option for an offensive day against algeria maybe.

    Also, If beasley regains form, I think he starts over holden…wow, ya, that one will get fire.

    Another day we may want to be much more defensively sound.

    Like

  • ThaDeuce

    I like it!

    Its been tried before also…right before one of those injuries.

    Like

  • Justin

    Hostile environment?? He played well against the Dutch because it was at his old stompimg grounds in Amsterdam. The crowd was even cheering him! I do hope he’s in form and both he and Bedoya make the final 23.

    Like

  • AngelUSAfan

    Thats is a cool video, and that proves my point of view that Beasley should be on the list of 23. BOB BRADLEY NEED GUY WHO CAN PLAY MULTIPLE POSITION convert him in to a striker. he has the eye for goals.

    Like

  • Justin

    Huh? Claudio Reyna and John O’Brien were arguably the best midfield tandem of the ALL the teams in the 2002 WC! Do you not remember?

    Like

  • Gringo_Prime

    I like it, and I’d imagine that’s how our attack will function regardless of what the official formation is.

    Dempsey plays as a withdrawn striker, with Donovan and Beasley/Holden/Bedoya manning the wings.

    Like

  • william smith

    Not sure he can beat out those guys but am betting he will be on the plane anyway and yes, our team is in big trouble. We’ll be home early

    Like

  • Gacm32

    What about his form in December for Rangers? 2 goals and 4 assists in just 5 games? That’s impressive, and that shows that when he’s healthy he can perform. I’m pretty sure anybody who “sucks” wouldn’t be in Europe, sitting on the bench or otherwise.

    Like

  • Joamiq

    Of course, the flip side of that is that since he hasn’t seen so much time on the field over the past few years, those tires might still have a lot of tread left on them. See: Hill, Grant

    Like

  • SammyC673

    Beasley. Please. I have close non-soccer friends who know their sports and will disown this national team if DaMarcus actually makes it by the love of God. Just cut Findley and this joke and let’s start getting serious.

    Like

  • SammyC673

    Beasly has lost his spot with his horrendous showings in the past two World Cups. What makes you think he could do any better now? Let’s put in our young talent.

    Like

  • SammyC673

    I have a strong distaste for Beasley after the past two world cups if you couldn’t tell…

    Like

  • bryan

    love it. god, i really hope he can find that form again. some REALLY nice goals in that video.

    Like

  • ThaDeuce

    If he is the target, then all he has to do is hold the ball long enough to dish to the onrushing deuce, donovan, beas, bradley, etc… He has shown well at holding the ball up, though I don’t know if as well as Ching. Really ching maybe the better target forward/link up player if he is healed. Wonder if i’ll get burned for that one!

    Like

  • Neruda

    Reading DMB’s comments in this article indicate he’s humbled by his position. He knows he needs to perform to be in. I’d love both Bedoya and DMB to be able to make it but DMB has the creativity and speed to be a thorn in the side of the slower English and Slovenian backs.

    Like

  • Mike Caramba

    I think I agree that Beasley should go, but I don’t blame people for being skeptical. People’s distrust of Beasley isn’t a product of their preference for youth as much as it is several shaky (and I’m being kind by leaving it at that) performances for the US and a lack of playing time for his club. Look at it this way: he’s the same age or younger than Donovan, Onyewu, Cherundolo, Bocanegra, and DeMerit, but people aren’t really questioning their inclusion, right?

    I agree that some American fans (and fans in general) get a little too excited about youngsters, but the Beasley skepticism is more than a simple case of ageism.

    Like

  • madmax

    If you did it ten times a year for three years would that be grounds for divorce?

    Like

  • madmax

    Has anybody (reporter/Bradley) asked the Rangers skipper why he has played Beasley so little the past three years? No volunteers may answer for the manager please.

    Like

  • Sgc

    “Trolls tend to make one-line comebacks, such are yours.”

    —Actually, trolls tend to make stuff up on the spot, like the above.

    Like

  • Aristotle

    I hate people who tell people to do research when they themselves clearly just talk out of their a*s.

    I did the research. Beasley scored a grand total of 10 goals for PSV during his stint with them from 2004-2007. 10 goals from 2004 to 2007 is a ton of goals? Players have scored a lot more goals than that in a single World Cup. Idiot.

    He sucked with Man City. A few good games in a measly 18 appearances. We all know what’s happened with the Rangers because it’s current. You will have to wait to try and re-write that history.

    No one was great for the USMNT all the way through the 2006 World Cup. I don’t need to research that one. I watched it with my own eyes. In one of the games he was berated by Arena for refusing to go forward at all for an entire game. You’re an imbecile.

    Like

  • Aristotle

    If you want to see ridiculous, re-read your post. You’re just a petulant fan boy. Not to mention one of those idiots who quotes someone’s career statistics every time someone says something negative about them that’s only referring to a very short time period.

    Someone says that Beasley has only had problems the past year, and I correct him because this isn’t true, and you don’t know what my point is? Let’s add moron to your wonderful list of attributes.

    Like

  • Aristotle

    This new trend of calling people trolls just because they disagree with you is getting pretty pathetic. You can’t address what they say, so you just call them a troll. Brilliant.

    Like

  • Aristotle

    I wonder if you would be saying these things in person, and not safe and sound in your parent’s basement?

    Like

  • Aristotle

    That may be true, but it’s also quite different to be a stranger playing in a foreign land than it is to be someone playing in a stadium and country you have been living in for years.

    Like

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