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Beasley, Alvarado preparing for clash with familiar faces of Mexico


Photo by Erich Schlegel/USA TODAY Sports


For virtually every member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, the idea of playing against Mexico is special. As one of international soccer’s fiercest rivalries, clashes with El Tri always tend to be the most meaningful on the USMNT schedule.

For Ventura Alvarado and DaMarcus Beasley, though, meetings with Mexico take on a whole new meaning.

The two USMNT defenders could find themselves in the lineup Saturday as the U.S. clashes with El Tri. But on the other side of that field, they won’t just see opponents; they’ll see teammates, ex-teammates and, more importantly, friends.

“Personally, it’s bragging rights,” Beasley said. “I have a lot of Mexican friends, obviously, after playing in Mexico for three years. This is not only about football, but obviously you represent your country. Just having that chip on your shoulder that we’re the best in CONCACAF.

“Any time we go out, whether it’s Mexico or Costa Rica or Trinidad or Jamaica, it doesn’t matter. We want to show that we’re progressing from last year, from the years before and that we’re the best in CONCACAF. That’s what we want to show come Saturday.”Beasley, entering perhaps his final clash with Mexico, has a career that has had its share of ties to the country. Having suited up for the U.S. 122 times in his 14-year international career, Beasley has been one of the most frequent faces opposing El Tri year in, year out.

But it was his three-year period on the other side that made the rivalry hit a bit closer to home. Beasley called Liga MX club Puebla home for three years before returning stateside with the Houston Dynamo in 2014.

While Beasley’s stay in Mexico represented only a three-year period, Alvarado’s love of the country has been with him since birth.

Born to Mexican parents, Alvarado faced the choice of suiting up for either El Tri or the USMNT. Now, he will get the chance to play in front of many just like him on Saturday as thousands of Mexican-Americans choose sides as they enter the sold-out Rose Bowl.

“Honestly, I feel really good about it,” Alvarado said of his choice. “It was the best decision I could make. I was born here and lived here for a long time in the United States. It was the best thing I could’ve done.

“I think there’s going to be a very large divided crowd with the (Mexico) flags and (U.S.) flags. That’s what’s nice about the United States, that there are people from all over. We’re going to play to win, regardless of if the crowd is in our favor or not.”

Now a member of Mexico’s Club America, Alvarado’s biggest achievement to date came when the club lifted the CONCACAF Champions League crown earlier this year. Joining him in that achievement were goalkeeper Moises Munoz, defender Paul Aguilar and forward Oribe Peralta, three players that will be a part of Mexico’s squad Saturday night.

Alvarado, Beasley and the entire U.S. Men’s National Team are more than aware of what’s to come. Rivalry games against Mexico are always fierce and, with a spot in the Confederations Cup on the line, Saturday’s intensity will only be ratcheted up.

“We have to win. It’s very important, honestly. We can’t lose this game,” Alvarado said. “This is like a winning a trophy and a final. On top of that, there’s the importance of it being a clasico.

“They’re coming with a new head coach and with a new process and with good players.  They’re coming to give their all, and I think they are just as motivated as we are. They know the importance of the game.”


  1. Alvarado based on club and recent USMNT performances should not be looked at to play in this game. I’m hoping for a Cameron-Besler tandem as center back pairings but I can’t see the USA running out a dos a cero in this one unless Brad stands on his head in goal.

    • Disappointed that Howard isn’t getting the start in goal. Guzan may be our keeper for the next WC, but Howard is still our best right now.

  2. I feel great about DMB at left back…but as for right back, i’m going to propose something SHOCKING:

    I was watching old USMNT games from a few years ago, and Fabian is such a game changer for us at one of the wide midfield spots (the Slovenia friendly comes to mind, etc). I say YEDLIN, that’s right, the Premier League starter that he is currently…at right back. He’s got the recovery speed to make up for his mistakes, and i’m banking on/hoping/believing his time in England the last year has improved his defending. Then Fabian at right mid…and bam, we are a completely different and better attacking team. I do respect Jurgen, but he can’t keep putting our best overall player (Fabian) in defense…its a waste of his talent.

    • I predicted that when he named 9 defenders in the 23, not including Yedlin. That he wants the option of Fabian in the midfield.
      Only 14 will play. He calls in 9 backs, including both Evans and Spector?? Well, you have to scrimmage 11 v 11
      I hope to see it

    • Agree with putting Fabian in the midfield-though if you do put Yedlin behind him will he be less inclined to go forward worrying above cover at the right back spot. Fabian plays left mid for Gladbach so he fits in well there with Beasley behind him. I suspect Ream may get a look at right back for this game but wouldn’t be shocked by a Klinsi curveball.

      • I actually like Fabian on the right side better – so that he can cut in on his left foot. Example: US vs. Turkey at Red Bull arena.

      • He’s actually pretty versatile and I remember that play against Turkey so he could play on either side…the issue is if Fabian plays on the right midfield who plays on the left? I think from a personnel standpoint you’d look at Zardes but he doesn’t routinely play there from what I know and then you are worried about playing a guy out of position in left mid.

    • Completely agree. Yedlin looked the part for Sunderland. With Fabian on the same side in the midfield, puts less pressure for Yedlin to get up field every time. he can pick his spots and focus on defending which he has improved on.

      Fabian is arguably our best attacker and that skill set is not being utilized. Up until now, i get why and do not blame JK for playing him at fullback. But with Yedlin improving defensively, I agree with you.

      And Fabian is smart and good enough to provide appropriate cover for a Guardado. But also a good enough attacker to hold Gaurdado back and have to defend.

    • That’s not shocking.

      JK’s comments indicate that he views Fabian as the best RB AND the best Left mid for the USMNT.

      Obviously he can’t play both at the same time though if you watch Borussia MG they get around that by starting FJ at left mid and then moving him to RB in the second half.


      • I never thought DMB would be anywhere near as good as he has been. Frankly, he’s gotten better the last few years.

        There’s a reason JK loves him so much. .

        So he may yet surprise everyone and play a while longer yet

      • perhaps use better syntax my friend 🙂

        break your sentence in two:
        DMB still going is incredible (implying kudos given for him playing well in the later stage of his career)

        DMB still going is sad (implying that a player is ‘sadly still playing’, aka playing past the point he should have retired).

        with your clarifying statement your point is now clear but your original comment was misleading.

        “[It is incredible that DMB is still going but I will be sad to see him retire]” might have been a more accurate statement.

        carry on…

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