What a few days this has been for DaMarcus Beasley, the U.S. international midfielder-turned-defender.
First, the veteran U.S. man re-established himself as a contender for Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team, starting at left back in two World Cup qualifiers as the United States’ regained balance and footing on its drive for Brazil 2014.
Beasley punctuated this 10-day period with a goal for Puebla in Liga MX action Sunday. His club lost to U.A.N.L., but Beasley’s goal off the bench was a highlight against the current Liga MX leader, at least.
While his goal (Beasley’s third in 2013, while appearing in all 12 matches for the club during the ongoing Clausura campaign) was surely an important marker, what Beasley has done internationally is the bigger talking point here.
Consider that Beasley just firmly inserted himself into the conversation for a fourth World Cup cycle. Fourth – an impressive sum by any measure.
Remember, he had just turned 20 when Bruce Arena approached him on a bus one day in Asia, informing the skinny young winger that he would start the next day against Portugal as the United States opened its World Cup 2002 account. All U.S. soccer patriots know how that one turned out.
Since then, Beasley has played his part in World Cup 2006, World Cup 2010 and now into the qualifying picture for 2014. We’ll see how far the Indiana native can take this one.
No, Beasley isn’t the perfect outside back for Klinsmann, still more midfielder than defender. Nor is Beasley likely to displace Fabian Johnson as the team’s first-choice left back.
But even when Johnson is healthy, it is possible that Klinsmann sees Beasley as an option at left back, an attack-minded choice for these home matches to come, where Honduras, Panama or Jamaica will arrive with a mission to defend, looking to muck up the match and escape the States with a potentially valuable draw.