ORLANDO — Friday saw another prominent figure of U.S. Soccer honored following the conclusion of his domestic and international career.
Longtime USMNT player DaMarcus Beasley spoke to media at Exploria Stadium ahead of a prematch ceremony to recognize the Indiana native following his recent retirement. Beasley is the second USMNT legend to be honored in the last three months, following Tim Howard’s ceremony in New Jersey in September. With his career ending 20 years after it began, Beasley is now excited for the next chapter of his life.
“I have no second thoughts or regrets about my decision to retire,” Beasley said.” I’m excited to be here, it’s the first game I’m watching in person since I retired. I’m excited for a new chapter, you know in my life and whatever I get into. I’m really really intrigued about the business side of the game, as far as technical side and front office.
“I am excited to just learn more, get my feet wet and get involved with some new things. Hopefully sooner or later I’ll have some opportunities to do that. I’ve been in some talks with the Dynamo, but it’s nothing concrete. We will see what happens in the near future.”
Beasley, 37, began his USMNT career in 2001 and went on to rack up 126 senior caps in his 16 years representing the crest. Along with the likes of former MLS stars Howard, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and others, Beasley became a prominent face for the National Team and also excelled domestically.
A winner of four Concacaf Gold Cups and a scorer of 11 international goals, Beasley also lifted 12 major domestic trophies during stops at Rangers, PSV, Houston Dynamo, and Chicago Fire. As he moves away from the pitch and into the future, Beasley still remembers and savors the glory days of being a USMNT and professional player.
“Just like the other veterans can tell you, it was a great run,” Beasley said. “I was lucky enough to play 20 years and I still look back now and wonder where the time has gone. It’s funny because the 1999 Under-17 team I was on is in town so I got to see them and it makes you savor the time you have together.”
“We’re all still friends and we will try to get together even more now that I am retired. Being able to have these relationships, it’s really what it’s about. Being about to make these friends and have these longterm relationships is great.”
After once being in the shoes of many of these current USMNT players like Sergino Dest, Weston McKennie, and Christian Pulisic, Beasley now has started to watch the young group to see their development continue. It may not be the group to win trophies like Beasley’s did in years past, but it’s the start of what he thinks will be a successful run.
“I think it’s great to see the youth now coming into the fold and have their chance,” Beasley said. “When I was coming up people said we were the new faces of the U.S. team and now it’s their turn. We have guys like Sergino, Christian, and Weston who are good young players that are continuing to make a name for themselves.”
“A lot of these guys are playing at high levels in the Champions League, so I think they are doing well for themselves. When you come to the U.S. team though, you are playing for something bigger and I hope they know that you are playing for something bigger than yourself. Games like Canada which are must-wins are the ones you need as a player to make your better and get you even more ready for success. I 100% think they are headed in the right direction and think they will be fine.”