DaMarcus Beasley: The Unsung Hero Of the USMNT

Here are a few questions. Which American has had the most UEFA Champions League appearances? Which American has gone the furthest in the UEFA Champions League? Which American has played in the most FIFA World Cups? The answer for all three is DaMarcus Beasley with 22 appearances, the semifinals and four respectively. DaMarcus Beasley announced his retirement from a 14 year international career with the US Men’s National Team.

DaMarcus Beasley has had a rather interesting career. After a few years in MLS, he left to go to Europe when he was 22. While there, he went to PSV in the Netherlands and got some solid playing time. With PSV, he became the only American to play in a UEFA Champions League semifinal as PSV lost to AC Milan in 2005.

After being with a few teams all around Europe, including another appearance in Champions League with Rangers, he went to Mexico with Puebla for four years. After the 2014 World Cup, the 32 year old Beasley came back to the United States and signed with the Houston Dynamo in MLS.

All during this time, Beasley amassed 121 caps (5th overall) with the US Men’s National Team. His 17 goals is tied for 9th overall and is the only American to play in four FIFA World Cups (2002-2014).

DaMarcus Beasley may not have been the most talented USMNT player or the most famous or the most popular, but he was an instrumental part of the development of US Soccer. While some Americans decided to stay in MLS or they went to Europe just to come back to America within a short period of time, Beasley decided to stick with it in Europe. The leagues may not have always been the absolute top and the locations may not have been the most glamorous, but DaMarcus did what he had to do in order to get solid playing time and the ability to compete against the best players in the world.

All in all, DaMarcus Beasley was a Jurgen Klinsmann player before Jurgen Klinsmann even thought about managing the USMNT. Beasley made the difficult decisions to play where he played because it benefitted his development as a soccer player and not because it was the most comfortable for him. He even went back to play left back in order to play in the 2014 World Cup. For things like that, the man deserves some recognition as a player who did everything he could to be the best player he could be. When he eventually retires from club play, he’s not going to get the Landon Donovan treatment and receive gifts from every MLS team and have the US soccer media obsess over him like he’s a God, but DaMarcus Beasley does deserve to be recognized as one of the greats of the US Men’s National Team.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter @phillipbupp