World Cup 2014

Beasley talks club status, USMNT youth, and more

DaMarcusBeasleyUSMNTCamp (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


DaMarcus Beasley’s role for the U.S. Men’s National team is quite clear. Entering the pre-World Cup camp, the 31-year-old Beasley is a veteran whose presence in defense is looked at to be a calming influence amongst a generally inexperienced back-line.

However, his role on the club level is now anything but certain, as Beasley confirmed Wednesday that he is looking to move away from his current club, Puebla.

“It is true that I am looking to leave Puebla, I will say that, but as far as MLS, any other country, any other team, I have not been in contact with anyone,” Beasley said at Wednesday’s training camp. “My objective is to make this team. I’m not worried about my future right now or my club situation, but I’ll give you that information: that I am looking to leave Puebla, but as far as where, I don’t know.”

Despite uncertainties with his club situation, Beasley is confident with his job for the next few weeks: providing his team with a reliable presence at fullback, despite generally featuring as a midfielder for most of his career.

“I’m the left back,” Beasley said. “My first job is to defend. My first job is not to score goals, even though I was a midfielder most of my career. That is a part of the game, yes. It’s a plus for the team, but my job is to cover my centerback and make sure we’re good defensively, make sure our line is straight and make sure they don’t get many chances. That’s my job and that’s what I try to do game in and game out.”

Aside from his on-the-field duties, Beasley is also charged with mentoring a group of young players that includes 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin and 18-year-old Julian Green. Despite their relative inexperience, Beasley insisted that the group’s younger players were brought to camp for much more than just learning experience.

“They’re great talents,” Beasley said. “They definitely deserve to be here. They hold their own in training. They can make this roster. That’s why they’re here. It’s not to give them experience. Experience for what? A two-week training? Jurgen sees them as guys that could possibly be in the World Cup and play in a World Cup game, and that’s what we’re preparing for.

“We’re not preparing for seven guys getting cut. We’re preparing for that first game against Ghana and we’re preparing everyone that can play. From DeAndre, Julian and those other guys that haven’t played a World Cup, everyone is preparing for that first game against Ghana. It’s a great credit to them. They’ve done a lot of work. I’m happy to see young guys at that age getting a shot at their first World Cup at this age. I’m excited to see what they’ll do in the next couple of weeks and the future. Give credit to them. They deserve to be here. They’ve done well thus far and, hopefully, they do well and they make the team.”

Regardless of who makes the team, Beasley understands that there are certain expectations thrust upon the team for this World Cup, as interest is as high as ever for soccer in the United States.

“We want to get out of this group,” said the three-time World Cup veteran. “We want to better that 2002 team and get past the quarterfinals. We take it one day at a time, but the expectations are 100 percent higher because the coverage for our team is a lot more than that era. We take it in stride and the guys that are very important to this team, they know what they need to do. They’ve been to World Cups before, so we’re confident that they can lead us to a good tournament. “

  • Ali Dia

    Remember when he and Park Ji-Sung were on PSV? Mesazoic era, I believe. Hope DMB at least sees a few minutes in Brazil, even if he doesn’t start.


    • argh

      how good was he in 2004-05? I heard many great things like he led them to the CL semi’s

      i followed the NT in 07 so I saw him go to Rangers and lose everything.


      • Ali Dia

        He was exceptional, leading the team with 4 goals in the CL… although it should be said that Park was the best player in the side. PSV really pushed Milan in the semi, losing on away goals after a 3-1 win at home in Eindhoven. Beasley did not dress for the second leg (can’t recall the reason), unfortunate considering it turned out to be an absolute classic.

        But he did start the first leg, which remains the only time an American player has played at that stage of the competition.

        His loan to Man City in 2006 was really what derailed him, in my view. The club was in a seemingly endless transition (some would say it still is!) and he was injured early, then used sporadically, and it was never even clear what his potential role was intended to be.

        I’m glad he found a new chapter and identity in Mexico. Look forward to seeing him return to MLS next year (hopeully).


      • Matt

        His performance against AC that game remains one of my favorite all-time by an American. He was really great that year and I’m happy to see him continue to be successful.


      • Brian S.

        If I’m not mistaken, the reason Beasley didn’t dress that second leg was because that was right after his first serious knee injury that really started send his career in to a downward trajectory. I could be completely wrong though but he was a fantastic advertisement for American soccer that year.


      • r.benjamin

        thanks for posting. I thinks it’s forgotten how good DMB was then. fast as hell. at this moment we hope green reaches at least that.


    • The Imperative Voice

      This needs to be said. I’m at a loss about the people in Beasley Denial. Go back and look at 2013 lineups. Beasley was a routine Gold Cup and qualifying starter with the exceptions of Honduras away (which did not go well) and Panama away (a goalfest after qualifying was secured). He then started both Scotland and Austria. The early games of this year when then spent trialing marginal players. Beasley was routinely handed the captain’s armband during Gold Cup (and some qualifying) and showed no signs of Boca Deterioration where his pecking order role could be questioned. The Hate says more about his critics than him, because he has generally played well and given no reason to be dropped. He has been the best defender of the last year.

      The two games FJ started at LB that I can recall were the Honduras away loss and the Bosnia goalfest. He was not called in to try out there in this year’s friendlies. He only has the inside track to that spot in a fever dream. I expect him to make the team and be a utility player for RB (behind Chandler), LB (behind Beasley), and on the left wing somewhere. He started at RB against Mexico and at LM or LF in the Gold Cup. I didn’t think he looked good as a LB and his usage there suggests Klinsi agrees.


      • Lost in Space

        To be fair….the biggest knock against Beasley as a starter in Brazil is his physical strength. The teams in our group all have the ability to play a very physical game….and that is not DMB’s strong suit. Ghana & Germany particularly can & will employ brute force when needed.
        IMO Fabian is better suited for that kind of match-up.
        If we had been drawn into a group with a South American team….or even less physical European sides (Spain, France, etc…) I’d feel better about Beasley as a starter on the back line…and Fabian playing MF. But we didn’t.


      • Ali Dia

        A good point. Little has been made of how the draw has affected certain players’ chances of selection. Torres is another another example of a player whose perceived usefulness might have been higher against less physically imposing, or more possession-oriented opposition.

        If there is merit to this thought, it has some interesting implications, because (if taken to extremes) it means we may actually end up with a different set of “preferred” squad profiles for as many as three major competitions:

        (1) World Cup Finals – Unless the qualification/allocation process changes (or we somehow become seeded), the statistical likelihood is that we will find ourselves competing against 1 African team,1-2 European teams, and 0-1 South American teams. No chance of Asia. No Chance of Oceania.

        (2) CONCACAF Qualifying- We know the drill here. A blend of Latin-American teams, typically undersized and playing posession-oriented soccer, along with 1-3 Caribbean teams (Jamaica, T&T. etc.), who bring a more physical challenge and often rely on speed/counter.

        (3) Copa America (potentially) – A new challenge, where undersized players with high technical ability, and Liga MX guys could really bring an interesting dimension.

        This is obviously a little disorganized and probably way too early to discuss, but I thought it was worth sharing as an idea, and a reason why our unique player pool may have some differentiating purpose in the future.


      • The Garrincha

        Ali Dia, I agree with your insight.
        I feel much the same way,
        This is why my last musical chairs post was presented.
        Many combinations and scenarios to be considered.
        however the foundation is set.
        The team knows more or less?, what the first round has in store.
        Nothing less than a good result against Ghana,
        and take it from there.
        So yes, certainly, DMB’s, leadership, experience, and positional flexibility make him extremely useful.


      • GW


        DMB has been a pro at a pretty high level in Europe. MLS and Mexico for about 12 years..

        If he was as puny and feckless as you seem so sure that he is how has he lasted so long ? He’s a small guy and if he could be pushed around don’t you think that is the first thing those tough physical players would do?

        Here is what Mark Hughes, known to be a tough player, said about physical intimidation back in 2007:


        “You seem like an intelligent, articulate sort of bloke, but as a player you weren’t averse to the red mist. Can you explain what goes through a player’s head in those situations?
        Frank Carr, Leeds

        I can understand it, but I can’t explain it. If you’re trying to play in a certain way and people try to physically stop you, then on occasions you will react. When I was playing, people were out to stop you affecting the game. The United team of ’93-94 had to be physically and mentally strong because we knew that for the first 20 minutes teams would try to intimidate us. That option is taken away now: people will try to make you believe that Blackburn intimidate teams, but it’s an impossibility. The game today is completely different to when I played. FIFA are doing their best to make it a non-contact sport – which will make it less of spectacle”


      • jay in florida

        I’ll give you Spain but France is pretty damn physical more so than Ghana imo.


      • r.benjamin

        this has merit. v Ghana the last two times a goal was scored because a US defender was out muscled. Reyna then Boca.


  • GW

    Best part:

    In reference to Yedlin and Green,

    “They’re great talents,” Beasley said. “They definitely deserve to be here. They hold their own in training. They can make this roster. That’s why they’re here. It’s not to give them experience. Experience for what? A two-week training? Jurgen sees them as guys that could possibly be in the World Cup and play in a World Cup game, and that’s what we’re preparing for.

    “We’re not preparing for seven guys getting cut. We’re preparing for that first game against Ghana and we’re preparing everyone that can play. From DeAndre, Julian and those other guys that haven’t played a World Cup, everyone is preparing for that first game against Ghana”


    • Rob

      They must not have cable Puebla, if they did he could’ve watched Green look way over his head against Mexico.
      If he could handle the “pressure ” of playing against Mexico at home I fully expect him to litterally crap his shorts against Germany in Brazil.


      • KingGoogleyEye

        This is great: DMB trains for hours each day with Yedlin, but Rob knows more because he watched one match on cable.


      • 1st Time Caller

        A few jitters at first, but after he settled down looked good and fit the bill as someone who might “try some sh!t” and actually do something for us when we need it. Looked fine on the ball. Showed quickness and a good first touch. Should have been awarded a penalty too. Glad your not picking the squads Rob or we’d be toast.


    • KingGoogleyEye

      Agreed, GW. If I had to narrow down even further, I’d say the absolute best part was, “Experience for what? A two-week training?” It’s like he’s been reading the comments on SBI and just had to mock.


  • last survivor of des plantas


    He’s underrated. He was a BEAST in the CL not too long ago (when few Yanks have been)

    would have loved to see him play in Spain or Italy (not sure why he signed with hannover after the last world cup. only played 4 games before going to mexico)

    right now I say GET PAID BEASLEY. Go back to Scotland or anywhere where they will give u 600 K a year. MLS will lowball you


    • The Imperative Voice

      Like they did Michael Bradley, of course. MLS will pay him more than $600K.

      The European notions are a bit mythic. He did well in Holland, as many Americans do. But he didn’t play a bunch at City, and even at Rangers his appearances were limited. he then disappeared at Hannover. So he should have upped the ante???? There is a reason he disappeared from the radar on the path to 2010, which his doubters still act like it means he’s washed up. He came back to Puebla, and while he didn’t get paid, he revived his career. He’s inside track to Brazil and has been captained. What does that tell you about what he should do?

      Having lucked out on his timing at Rangers only to not get Puebla paychecks, I’d suggest the assurance of a routinely arriving paycheck of decent size in his home country, and the ability to play out his career on his feet and not tied to a bench, over Taking The Money. He seems like a pretty smart guy so I expect him to make a better decision for himself than some of his teammates, who overreached (Shea), demoted themselves for cash (EJ), or for no apparent reason went back to their battering spouse (Dempsey).


      • GW

        “But he didn’t play a bunch at City, and even at Rangers his appearances were limited. he then disappeared at Hannover. So he should have upped the ante???? There is a reason he disappeared from the radar on the path to 2010, which his doubters still act like it means he’s washed up.”

        His time at those clubs was blighted largely by injury..


      • The Garrincha

        DMB would be well served making the bus and having a good showing in Brazil. He then like many players will have more options presented to them.
        Would love to have DMB, back in the MLS.
        Maybe @ NYCFC?,(Dynamite!, New York City Fried Chicken).


  • UclaBruinGreat

    I’m not necessarily making this argument, but plenty of people say that the USMNT and MLS would benefit from more Mexican-Americans (for USMNT) and Mexicans (MLS) playing on the team/league. Looking at this story below from Soccer-America, it’s hard to argue $$ wise.

    “Sunday’s broadcast of the Liga MX Clausura 2014 final between Pachuca and Leon on UniMas averaged 2.5 million viewers, making it the most watched soccer match on any U.S. network (English- or Spanish-language) in 2014.

    The prime-time match had 100 percent more total viewers and 191 percent more adults than the most-viewed EPL match on NBC in the recently completed 2013-14 season (Cardiff-Swansea in February).

    It also delivered more viewers than every single NHL playoff game airing on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC in the 2014 playoffs to date.

    The Liga MX final made UniMas the No. 1 broadcast station in the game’s time period among viewers in Los Angeles and adults 18-49 and adults 18-34 in Los Angeles and San Francisco.”


    • Ali Dia

      Thanks for sharing, UCLA. This is very interesting

      My initial reaction is actually a bit tangential… Specifically, I wonder who might be interested in showing more English-language broadcasts of Liga MX games? Obviously, I can think of a few parties who might be very much against it… but is this really the correct long-term view for building interest in soccer here in the U.S.?

      The reasoning is this— I watch a TON of soccer (and I’m sure I”m not alone here). But MLS simply does not offer enough programming. Even if I’m not watching attentively, I keep it on in the background somewhere in the house. But once noon rolls around on Sat/Sun, the robust European slate is pretty much wrapped up, and all that is left is a bizarrely scattered pittance of MLS games, and plenty of Liga MX games which I use to fill the gaps (my Spanish isn’t great, but this is how I learn!).

      I’m curious whether MLS might have better luck by focusing on Liga MX as a complement to their (currently limited) programming rather than a competitor. This would build interest in CONCACAF CL, as well… I just don’t see how MLS would really lose viewers if there was English-language broadcast of other regional soccer. Might even gain some viewers.

      Or, to take it all the way…. maybe MLS and Liga MX should think about a “CONCACAF Network”…. do it in two languages, a la BeIN Sport… thoughts?


  • Good Jeremy

    “I’m the left back,” Beasley said. “My first job is to defend”

    Interesting that he said THE left back instead of just ‘a’ left back. Fans may not like it, but I think Klinsman has him locked in there. That frees Johnson up for either RB or the wing, both of which would push a quality player out of the lineup.


    • The Imperative Voice

      Like I was saying, go back and look at 2013 lineup cards, he is THE LEFT BACK. Kind of like Jozy will start at forward and Jones will be the DM and Howard will keep. If you routinely start and do not play poorly (well, in Jozy’s case, no one displaces you even while you slump), you are a lock. It’s only the fanboys who think some of these positions come out different.

      Will Beasley play well at Brazil? Who knows. Some decisions backfire. But there is no hint from the way Klinsi has handled his team that he intends to bench Beasley and start FJ. That might have been a debate roughly Honduras away last year, but that game did not end well. And then Beasley occupied the spot and was handed the armband some weeks.

      FJ could sub Beasley at LB, could be an option off the bench on the left side attack, and may also push Chandler for RB depending how they both look.



    why don’t more Yanks play in Mexico? why don’t more Mexicans play in MLS

    it’s a much better league?

    highest paid player in Mexico earns $2.5 million a year. now if you convert that to pesos. that’s 32.5 million pesos. That is a huge FEE in Mexico and yet that guy could earn the same amount here. he’s easily worth it as he scores goals and is still under age of 30.

    but why not more mexicans in MLS? even mexican players in 2nd division/3rd division Mexico would make more money in MLS and they’re bound to have some talent. why not more Yanks there? there has to be a reason. our boys are good enough. mexico isn’t exactly on the other side of the world or culturally unknown.


    • The Imperative Voice

      Mexico is perceived as a step up and there is some history of Americans playing there, such as Wynalda and Kooiman, particularly back before we had a decent first division. But once MLS was formulated there is an argument that we provide a safer location and more reliable paychecks. And because the approach to the game is different and not necessarily translatable to American soccer, the value to an American of playing in a better league goes away a little bit.

      That being said, it’s a popular destination these days. Although it’s worth pointing out also that just two Mexican-based made the camp roster.


  • bryan

    great player, can’t wait to see where he ends up. i think he has to go to Brazil and i think most would agree with that. really curious to see how JK uses him and Johnson though throughout the friendlies the group games.


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