2015 Gold Cup
DaMarcus Beasley Pulls a Brett Favre and 'Unretires'
June 13, 2015
United States men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann had reached out to the 33-year-old Fort Wayne, Ind., native. Klinsmann left a message asking if Beasley would consider coming out of international retirement and play in this summer's Gold Cup.
Beasley returned Klinsmann's call and the two discussed the matter. After that, Beasley spoke with his family and members of the Dynamo coaching staff. He didn't mention these discussions to any other players and made a point of keeping the issue very quiet. So when his name was included on the 35-player preliminary Gold Cup roster that was unveiled on Wednesday, it caught almost everybody by surprise.
“Klinsmann called me last week and he asked me my thoughts about coming back to the team,” Beasley told reporters in Houston. “It took a little bit of time for me to think about it and see what I wanted to do. He gave me that time. He said, 'It would be great to have you back.’”
Beasley said he was “flattered” by the outreach, adding that the thought of playing with the national team was something he was not even considering until Klinsmann approached him. The two had not spoken since November when Beasley informed the German-born coach that he was retiring from the national team after a 2-1 loss against Colombia in London.
Klinsmann, a persuasive recruiter of dual-nationals, eventually convinced Beasley that he should return to the national fold.
“I still feel fit. I still feel fine,” Beasley said. “I still feel that I can help the team if I do get called. What kid—and I still feel that I am a kid—is going to turn down another chance to play national team games? It is going to be great to be back with the boys and see those guys again—and obviously the new group coming in.
"If Jurgen gives me the go-ahead, I am more than happy to bring myself to the team.”
Klinsmann is going to give Beasley some added flexibility in his return. For the upcoming Gold Cup, Beasley might join the team for the start of the tournament, or he might join the team should it qualify for the knockout stages. (Gold Cup teams that advance to the knockout rounds are permitted to make six changes to the roster). That decision will be made in the upcoming weeks as the two continue to discuss the matter.
“It’s not like it’s another club," Beasley said. "This is playing for your country and playing for something special. This is another Gold Cup and a chance for us to go to the Confederations Cup.”
Beasley hinted that discussions with Klinsmann might have included talk beyond the Gold Cup but for now he is thinking strictly in the short-term regarding his international play.
“Who knows what is going to happen after that? He asked me about the Gold Cup and we’ll go from there," Beasley said. "We’ll see. Hopefully it goes well and we win. After that, I’m sure I will speak to Jurgen again and we’ll go from there. I haven’t made any final decision yet if I am going to keep going after that.”
With three consecutive wins against quality opponents—Mexico, the Netherlands, and Germany—he U.S. men are on a decided upswing. Klinsmann has been introducing younger players into the squad and many of them have delivered with quality performances.
That said, there still appears to be a need for Beasley on the national team. The left back position remains up for grabs as Brek Shea and Greg Garza have played well at times but have not seized the starting job as of yet.
Throughout most of his career Beasley played on the left wing, another unsettled position for the U.S. senior team. If he does return, Beasley would bring a welcome dose of speed to a team that is lacking in that area, as well as the experience that comes with 127 caps and four World Cups.
“If I didn’t feel like I could still play or help the team, I wouldn’t,” Beasley said. “I am not going to be one of those players that plays until he is 40 but should have retired when he was 35. That’s not me.”
“I made my decision and I feel good about it,” he added. “If he needs me, I am available. It was cool to see my name up there again in the national team pool.
"I am somewhat officially out of retirement.”
Brian Sciaretta is an American Soccer Now columnist and an ASN 100 panelist. Follow him on Twitter.