NEW YORK — This weekend marks the end of the MLS regular season, and with that will come the conclusion of the storied and legendary career of a player that has competed in four World Cups and in some of the globe’s top leagues.
That career almost had a stop in Spain, too. For one of the sport’s biggest clubs.
DaMarcus Beasley is set to play in his final professional match on Sunday when the Houston Dynamo host the LA Galaxy. The regular season finale will punctuate Beasley’s storied 20-year career, one that began in MLS with the Galaxy in 1999 and that saw him join teams like PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, and Rangers when he was still a spry and speedy winger.
Barcelona could have also been on that list.
“To be honest, the biggest one, there was interest (from) Barcelona and that’s when I was 18,” Beasley told SBI earlier this year. “…I had Ajax interested, I had Barcelona, I had another one but I’m not going to say the name because I don’t remember. Those two were the biggest ones. Barcelona and Ajax were asking about me how much it would take.
“Those two were big ones,” Beasley added. “Schalke was one that I was really, really close to going to, but that was when I was at Rangers. I think it was my second year (there). They were interested, too.”
While it might be nice to think about the past and what could have been for both fans and Beasley alike, the 37-year-old forward is already thinking about his future. The U.S. Men’s National Team legend wants to stay involved in the game after he hangs up his cleats for the final time this weekend, but in what capacity or role is a bit unclear.
Beasley would certainly not mind working in a front office, though.
“I’m going to talk to people and see what I want to do or what I want to try,” said Beasley. “Obviously I don’t know what I’m good at yet, but I’ll start to put my name out there and see what’s available and see what I want to do and see if it’s something that they’re interested in and go from there.
“I don’t want to coach. I would love to learn the business side of football and what it takes to put a team together and what it takes day in and day out and being with the team. That kind of part of it, it intrigues me. We’ll see.”
Before he can fully begin to focus on what is next, Beasley has one more game to play. The Dynamo may already be eliminated from playoff contention and playing for little more than pride, but Beasley has a final opportunity to dazzle and show why he is so revered in American soccer circles and history.
“I was literally surprised of the reaction I got when I announced my retirement. I didn’t think anybody cared,” said Beasley with a laugh. “I’m being for real. Like, I’m really being for real. People think I’m just joking, ‘Oh, this and that.’ I’m for real. I was literally caught off guard about the people that wrote me.
“I’m not talking about my teammates. I’m just talking about people that are fans or people that said they hated me but then they said, ‘Oh, man. You had a great career and dadada, but this and that.’ I was like, ‘Man, where did this come from?’
“Seriously, I didn’t think it would be like that.”