World Cup 2010: Beasley resurgence could add important option for US squad

Beasley could be valuable weapon off the bench in South Africa

Few American soccer fans will have expected DeMarcus Beasley to be in Bob Bradley’s plans for the 23-man US squad headed to South Africa. His play over the last couple of seasons for club and county has been very disappointing, and he seemed to be losing his long running battle with injuries. Furthermore, new faces were emerging to take over from Beasley, especially Charlie Davies. But now Davies is almost certainly out for the World Cup as he recovers from a horrific car crash and Beasley is getting regular minutes and scoring great goals for Rangers. If he’s back to his best, his pace and experience would be a great asset to the US in South Africa.

We all remember shouting at the television as ball after ball seemed to bounce of Beasley’s feet as if he’d never played soccer before. Whether playing left wing or a more unfamiliar left back, he looked lost. After being substituted during the first-round Brazil game in the Confederations Cup last summer, it looked like his national team career might be over. Making matters worse, he wasn’t getting a kick at Rangers, stuck behind two players and seemingly on the outs with Manager Walter Smith. He even talked publicly about wanting to leave Glasgow in the January transfer window in the hope of getting some playing time and forcing his way back into consideration for the US squad.

He finally made his season debut for the Glaswegians against Sevilla in their final Champions League group game—well after Rangers had been eliminated from the competition—and took full advantage. He was the best player on the pitch and scored the game winner in the Scots 3-0 win. That forced him back into Smith’s thinking and he has now getting regular time. He even scored this wonder goal in Rangers last game against Dundee:

Now, before we get all carried away, a few good games isn’t reason enough to forget that Beasley has been pretty awful for the last couple of seasons. But what it clearly does is give the US a potential asset that we had thought was long past it. If Beasley keeps playing and keeps playing well, he will have to be taken to South Africa. I don’t think he should start, but his pace and ability to attack or defend would be an invaluable weapon to bring off the bench (he would be a good matchup to try and slow down Aaron Lennon, for example). His time in Europe and Scotland will only add to the US team’s already considerable knowledge of our first opponent, England.

Beasley is not the answer for the injured Davies, but his resurgence does give the US team reason to be hopeful that he could be a key contributor in South Africa.


One Response

  1. Beasley and Davies wouldn’t compete for playing time if both were healthy; Davies is a pure striker and Beasley has always played on the left wing, with a little time at left back when Arena was experimenting before the 2006 World Cup, if I recall. The right side of midfield is strong, with Donovan, Dempsey and more recently Holden all capable, but the left flank is weak. Beasley is slight but he’s usually good about tracking back, which will be especially important if Bradley sticks with Bornstein at left back.

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