There’s been much talk about a changing of the tides in American soccer with the retirement of Landon Donovan. We’ve not been immune to the talk here at WSOTP either, and rightly so. And the tide continued its change today, as another of Donovan’s peers decided to hang up his boots… at least for the national team. That player in question: Houston Dynamo’s DaMarcus Beasley. But the Fort Wayne, Indiana, native — a man I had the privilege to play against and with during my formative years as well — hasn’t received near the spectacular send off that his long-time teammate did.
And in my humble opinion, that’s not exactly fair. He’s a versatile player, a man of many talents, and he’s overcome adversity to reclaim a place with the USMNT that many of us thought he would never recoup.
While he may not have been as talented or prolific as Donovan, it’s pretty easy to argue that Beasley’s career was just as successful. He earned the Silver Ball as the second best player at the 1999 U-17 World Cup, just behind Golden Ball winning buddy LD. A successful launch to his career in MLS with the Fire lead to a move to Dutch giants PSV, where he would eventually become the first — and only — American to play in the semifinals of the Champions League. He went on to make 107 appearances in Europe in a career that spanned the Premier League (Manchester City), the Scottish top flight (Rangers) and the Bundesliga (Hannover 96). He made a splash in Mexico with Puebla, too. And let’s also not forget all 121 caps Beasley earned with the national team, the seventeen international goals he tallied, and that he became the first ever American to play in four World Cups.
He’ll likely not get a testimonial or send off like his much heralded teammate, but I have a sneaking suspicion that RunDMB will just fine with that. And for that reason alone, we’re happy to give him the much deserved praise anyway.