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Demarcus Beasley

DaMarcus Beasley Back in the Mix


DaMarcus Beasley is once again playing a high level for his club team and must be strongly considered for a return to the US setup. Beasley’s comeback started with a good performance versus Sevilla in the Champions League last week, and has continued through a few good league performances this week. In Rangers’ 3-1 win over Dundee United on Tuesday, Beasley scored a goal and set up another.

Given the relative lack of depth and experience in the US player pool, I believe Beasley must be recalled, even if not fully fit or even playing regularly. Here is why.

  • World Cup experience. A good 2002 World Cup followed up by a 2006 World Cup where he was less poor than the rest of the team, setting up Clint Dempsey’s goal versus Ghana and having his own wonder strike versus Italia disallowed.
  • Champions League Experience: Beasley has scored more Champions League goals than all other Americans combined.
  • Lack of depth in US pool at wide positions: The US continues to use central midfielders as wingers. The true wide play the USMNT previously received from the likes of Cobi Jones, Beasley and Eddie Lewis is a thing of the past with this group.
  • Quality and Understanding: Beasley has an unusual chemistry with Landon Donovan, having played together since the U-17 level. Additionally, Beasley developed chemistry and understanding of Clint Dempsey’s game in 2006 and 2007. Dempsey makes more interesting and daring runs from both wide and advanced midfield position than any other American player. Beasley has proven repeatedly he can anticipate Dempsey’s movement in a way many other current US’ pool players cannot.
  • Leadership: Beasley has been through the wars and has a work ethic second to none among American players. Bruce Arena, not long ago asked Landon Donovan to emulate Beasley’s training habits. With a relatively inexperienced team headed to South Africa, the leadership and veteran savvy of a Beasley could be critical.

Were the US a deeper team, with a large number of good options at the wide positions, I would recommend Beasley simply be monitored, for the time being. But the depth of the US pool is so shallow, and the success rate of our players in top European competitions so minimal, Beasley almost has to be called back in.

Sending untested players to South Africa could be a fatal mistake. For all the hype around the Confederations Cup, it is viewed in many circles as a glorified friendly tournament. While the US got through qualifying easily, the flaws that were exposed can be more easily taken apart by World Cup qualifying nations than by CONCACAF minnows.

Bottom Line: The US has not advanced as quickly as we would like (or as far the multi million $ price tag for development programs indicates we should have advanced) so experienced players cannot be easily discarded. It is even more useful when that player is beginning to find his form and regain his confidence.

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  1. Les

    December 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Good article Kartik.

    But seriously, a very important question.

    Why do you write differently for EPL Talk and Set Piece than you do for MLS Talk. Why are you hyper critical on those sites of anything American, while being generally supportive and solution oriented here? I know the audience is different but would the real Kartik Krishnaiyer please stand up.

  2. AngelUSAfan

    December 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Well I think Beasley have to come back to the USNMT because he, Donovan and Dempsey are very Danger together. But is Bob Bradley the one who keep messing up. He need to play his players in the right position. Do not use Spector in the middle Used him on the left like in West Ham or keep him in the right back. Please keep Beasley in the left natural position, do not used him on the right or use him on left back defender. Please Dempsey is playing left but as an attacker and with the freedom to move everywhere like Giovanni Dos Santo in Mexico. Bob Bradley have a good team all he need is put each of his player in their natural position and stop screwing with the lineup.

  3. ddtigers

    December 17, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I love ya Kartik but it is too early. DP needs to be good and playing for the rest of the season and then maybe. Plus since Rangers bombed out the CL there is only the lowly comp. of the SPL that I’m not impressed with. Let’s wait and see.

  4. Rafael

    December 16, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Beasley has been horrible recently, but this is good news. I hope he can really turn it around because I think he still has what it takes to be a great player. His best days are not behind him. He is still young. He is around Donovan’s age which is the prime of a soccer player from 25-29.

  5. You know me

    December 16, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Kartik, please.. This guy has always been horrible.

    • sam

      December 16, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      o please he had been playing good until last year when he was devastated with injuries, now that hes healthy again and is hungry to play, hes been stellar, and he brings things no other “winger” we have can bring(taling about holden and rogers and feilhaber) he has speed, a good touch(ya ya the braziol game, he was still not 100%), he can pass well and he can pull that goal from no where something those other 3 can not doi believe fielhaber needs to start cm with bradley and if not paired with feilhaber give me torres or edu with bradley

  6. Charles

    December 16, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    By seeing a trend, I meant US guys that go to Europe as a lock and now are marginal or can’t make the US team.

    I think the Landon signing ( if he stays ) and Holden ( if they can sign him ) combined with the CBA ( if it gets more talent here in the US ) could be a turning point for soccer in this country, and believe me I have been following for longer than most here have been alive. was my midlife crisis ;-)….not quite but close.

    There have to be quite a few American players that if can be signed for $500k – 1 million that would consider playing in MLS rather than go to Europe.
    One, the money is good, not great, but good.
    Two, you play in the US
    Three, you are not playing on a team that will never, ever win

    • Adam Edg

      December 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm

      I agree with your points. The third is the one that makes me scratch my head. How good is the money on some of these jobber teams in iffy Euro leagues? We lose a lot of potential MLS talent to leagues that are not any more prestigious than MLS. Many of these guys end up stuck on crappy teams in a go nowehere situation.
      Even most that sign with teams in the big leagues end up sitting on the bench or being loaned to a lower side. Most of those that do get time are on the bottom feeders fighting to stave off relegation. Reading, Derby County, Hull, etc are not exactly powerhouses.
      I understand that if a club in Latvia is paying you $500k vs an MLS offer of $35k you will go to Latvia, but when in the few cases where the dollars are fairly close (considering living expenses, etc), why go overseas? Do the players really think that they will not get noticed here? With modern technology, webcasts, and satellite I doubt it.
      If MLS could get to a $50,000/player min with regular starting 11 players breaking $100k and lower-level stars hitting $500k, you would see a major shift. Unfortunately I do not know how/if they can do that. Add in three Beckham rule players per team and the league gets a lot better. Not Euro money, but more competitive and higher profile than it is now.

  7. Charles

    December 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    “It seems that leaving the Fire did more damage than good.”

    I am seeing a trend. What happened to Adu ? I am having trouble finding information on how he is doing. ( sarcasm )

    Where are all the Landon HAS to go to Europe posters ? MIA ?

    • Adam Edg

      December 16, 2009 at 3:45 pm

      Guilty. I was on that boat. As my earlier post states, I have changed my mind on that one. God, Stuart Holden needs to stay in Houston…

  8. Joey Clams

    December 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Does Bradley’s formation include true wingers? No one knows what personnel it requires.

    I can understand your enthusiasm, Kartik, and you’ve made a decent argument. With the veterans already on the team, however, I’d rather see Bob err on the side of youth in this case.

    • short passes

      December 16, 2009 at 2:31 pm

      YOUTH !!!!!! YES YES YES

  9. Adam Edg

    December 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I would love to see Beasley back in the mix, but only if he is at his 2002 WC form or better. Beasley has been my favorite US player since debuting with the Fire. He is usually one of the first players I snag on the transfer market in FIFA games and is the type of star that American soccer needs – or at least he should have been.
    It seems that leaving the Fire did more damage than good. Sure he was stellar with PSV, but after moving to Britain with Man City and Rangers he has been mediocre at best.
    Seeing the fall that Beasley has suffered since leaving Chicago, I am beginning to think that Donovan’s decision to stay in MLS is not a sign of insecure weakness, but an opportunity to play regularly in diverse weather against physical opponents. The short spells in Europe give him such much needed fine tuning. Plus, hisplay well with mediocre teammates in MLS has translated to strong play with the USMNT.
    I wonder if this discussion would be different had Beasley done the same…

  10. short passes

    December 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I’m afraid that the problem with the MNT is bigger than DaMarcus. Historically I’ve been a big fan of his extending back to the Fire days. However as a starter on the MNT I firmly believe his best days are past. However the bigger question is why six months before the WC we are suddenly awakening to massive weaknesses in the team. The quick answer is that we have a weak player pool. If we accept that, just for the sake of argument, then why haven’t we been trying to develop the next generation of MNT players, such as Holden, Torres, Feilhaber, Adu, Gaven, Rodgers? The outlines of our problem have been there for the past several years. My thought (paranoid, crazy) is that the marketing types in US Soccer are apoplectic at the possibility that we won’t get out of the first round. Consequently they are forcing a “just don’t lose” attitude on team selection and tactics. I have always been a fan of Bob Bradley but it appears that the pressures on him are forcing a change in his soccer philosophy. This team looks nothing like the immensely entertaining and successful squads that he put in place in Chicago.
    It seems that none of the bloggers attempt to pierce the veil of what’s happening behind the scenes with the management of US Soccer. Is it really all peace, happiness, and good will towards all or are the suits part of the problem? C’mon Kartik, enlighten us.

  11. Roger

    December 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    We have no true wingers other than Rogers.

    Torres, Donovan, Holden, Dempsey, etc are all central midfielders playing wide in Bradley’s setup.

    Beasley isn’t there yet but if he gets healthy and keeps playing well, he is an automatic selection.

  12. Tom

    December 16, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    To say we are deep is a joke. Lots of mediocre, untested players does not equal depth. It equals mediocrity and an inability to compete outside of CONCACAF in meaningful matches.

    That having been said Run DMD has gone from being a good one to a typical american player, so all his experience and former quality is now useless.

    We are sunk in this World Cup unless something seriously changes.

    • Charles

      December 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm

      Well we don’t disagree with that.
      But the something that has to happen is for people to support a league in the US.
      Until that happens, outside of an ’02 run, or a Confederate Cup victory, yes we are sunk.

  13. Ray Smith

    December 16, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I pray that you are wrong and that we are not that desperate for a winger that we are hoping for a in for Beasley.

  14. Bandeeto

    December 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I have no faith thaT Beasley can maintain a high level of play for the rest of his season, much less through the world cup. If Bradley continues to reward mediocre players for one good game out of ten then that will lead players to accept less that consistently maintaining the highest level that they can. I just belive that it sends the wrong message, and a damaging one.

  15. Charles

    December 16, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I think the USMNT is very deep.
    There are many, many different variations of who makes the team. Maybe you can argue they are all mediocre/good players, fine, they are not favorites to win, not even seeded, so you are probably right.
    But that does not mean they aren’t deep.

    The problem Bradley has is so much of the assumed team fled to Europe for the money and sat on the bench/got injured. Do you pick them up hoping they will play well, or do you go with MLS talent or the healthy players?
    Speaking of which I read someone saying Adu had a 25% chance of making the team. It can’t be that high can it ?

  16. todd

    December 16, 2009 at 11:00 am

    3 good games and he’s back in the mix? ehhh… lets see how the rest of his december goes.

    • Rob

      December 16, 2009 at 11:08 am

      Exactly, more like for me, let’s see how the rest of his spring goes…

    • Ryan

      December 16, 2009 at 1:21 pm

      3 bad games was enough for Kartik to push for Michael Bradley’s removal, then he came back in form and those arguments look rash. Similarly, 3 good games does not a WC starter make.

    • vic

      December 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm

      yeah, really. I saw some of the Dundee game yesterday, and he was fairly active up top. I say monitor him, perhaps even invite him to the international friendlies, just dont put him in the same sentence with “left back”.

  17. Matthew N

    December 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Ok, you sold me.

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