One of the most under-appreciated careers in U.S. men’s soccer history came to a close today. Though his time with the Houston Dynamo will continue, midfielder-cum-defender DaMarcus Beasley will don the stars and stripes no more.
The 32-year-old took to his Instagram to break the news:
Over his 14-year career with the U.S., Beasley made 121 appearances, scoring 17 times and appearing in four World Cups. He wore the captain’s armband as the U.S. claimed the 2013 Gold Cup and converted from midfield to left back to find new relevance as the U.S. advanced out of its group at the 2014 World Cup.
Along the way, Beasley played in MLS, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and Mexico. He played in a UEFA Champions League semifinal, and has 10 major team honors to his credit.
All the while, Beasley’s success rested in the shadows of more prominent names, his ability to win playing time with teams like PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, and Rangers giving him incentive to stay abroad. In the days before every game was an illegal stream away, that meant obscurity. By the time Beasley moved to Mexico, his game was starting to change.
His ability to evolve helped bring his international career back to life under Jurgen Klinsmann. Now, just weeks after enjoying a final call up with the team, he’s saying farewell. Only four people have appeared in more games. No American has appeared in more World Cups.
He’ll continue with the Houston Dynamo, but with the next World Cup four years off, his U.S. ride was going to end soon. Maybe he could have tried for a fifth Gold Cup title, but really, what’s the point. A few more games? Maybe another honor? It wouldn’t change the bottom line.
Beasley’s legacy was etched in stone the minute he appeared in Brazil. From Bradenton to Salvador, his combination of longevity and significance rivals any of his peers. Now that he’s gone, those achievements might get their due.