Countdown to Columbus: Beasley’s Role
From the 1999 Under 17 World Cup until late 2005, DaMarcus Beasley was considered one of the brightest ever young stars of football produced by the United States. A left footed midfield with amazing speed anf flair, manythought Beasley would eventually be the break through player for the US in European club football.
Beasley had just turned 20 when he had a major influence over the United States opening victory of World Cup 2002 over highly rated Portugal. The next year Beasley was named one of the MLS Best XI with the Chicago Fire and was sold by the league to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven for close to $3 million. Having won a Dutch League title and played a key role in a deep Champions League run, Beasley was accomplishing more than any American field player in Europe at the time.
But then his luck changed for the worse. A poor early 2006 in football terms for both the US and PSV as well as a Drunk Driving conviction in Holland set the US star up for a disappointing Germany 2006. Then a season long loan spell at Manchester City yielded a few decent moments, including a great goal at the Emirates against Arsenal. But it was not enough to impress the incoming ownership and management team to ask him to stick around.
A solid Gold Cup 2007 saw Beasley signed by Rangers largely because of his Champions League experience with PSV. But since a November 2007 injury, Beasley has actually made more appearances for the US National Team than for his club side: a rare phenomena in today’s football world.
With Beasley very much on the mend as a club footballer cries from many a United States National Team supporter have been made to keep him locked to the bench on the international level. Jose Francisco Torres and Robbie Rogers are two young left footed midfielders who have played key roles in Championship teams: Torres with Pachuca in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and Rogers with Columbus in MLS. Cries for Bob Bradley to play either youngster in place of Beasley have never been louder.
But this will not happen anytime soon. DaMarcus Beasley despite his indifferent club form continues to have the faith of Bradley, who managed him with Chicago. Additionally, Beasley’s special connection developed through almost 15 years of playing with Landon Donovan cannot be underestimated. Beasley is more comfortable with the national team than his club sides because he’s playing with an old mate: someone who understands his game and whose game he can compliment.
Beasley is going to be part of the US setup for the foreseeable future. While Torres and Rogers are both critical pool players going forward, Beasley will be difficult to dislodge at left midfielder. His experience in CONCACAF, and his history of playing well against Mexico all will weigh on Bradley’s mind this week. Expect to see Beasley put in a strong effort Wednesday in helping the US give Mexico their best shot in Columbus.