Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By RYAN TOLMICH
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. “