DaMarcus Beasley

Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images

Back to the future: US World Cup veterans reunite with Arena

Leave a comment

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Demspey and Tim Howard were with Bruce Arena the last time the U.S. coach guided the Americans into World Cup qualifying – way back 12 years ago.

“It’s a long time for a coach, too, I might add,” cracked the 65-year-old Arena, “I had a lot more hair 12 years ago.”

Jozy Altidore played for Arena during his debut season of Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls in 2006 and part of `07.

[ MORE: PL Playback — Top Six expectations ]

The Americans are counting on that familiarity and experience in big matches when they face Honduras at home Friday in World Cup qualifying.

“He’s been around U.S. Soccer for a very long time. I think that helps him a bit in his approach,” Altidore said after Tuesday’s training in a steady rain at Avaya Stadium. “He’s a guy that everybody’s really comfortable with and there’s no adjustment period, which is good. He was one of my first pro coaches, so I know him well, his style and everything, so it’s nothing new. It’s good to have him back.”

Arena’s roster features 19 of 26 players from Major League Soccer with the Monday night addition of Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes. There were just 10 MLS players leading into an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Costa Rica on Nov. 15 – eight of whom dressed for the match after Howard got hurt against Mexico.

That sent the Americans to their first 0-2 start in the final round of World Cup qualifying and led to Jurgen Klismnann’s ouster. Arena then returned 10 years after his firing.

“I think Bruce is going to call up the players that give him the best chance to win,” midfielder Michael Bradley said. “Regardless of where you play, regardless of what you’ve done, Bruce is going to rely on guys who are going to step on the field in big moments and go for it, be aggressive and fearless and represent him and the team and our country in the best possible way.”

[ MORE: Cameron pumped for USMNT return ]

The Americans might need all the depth they have up front. Forward Jordan Morris didn’t practice again Tuesday while nursing an ankle injury sustained Sunday with the Seattle Sounders. He did gym work and rehabbed the ankle after spending Monday receiving treatment at the team hotel. His status for Wednesday’s practice remained unclear.

“Anybody that’s going to help the team, it doesn’t matter where you play,” Beasley said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s more MLS, more Europe, more Mexico, more Scandinavia, it doesn’t matter. As long as you know what it’s about to play for this team and play for this country you’re going to be a part of it, so it’s good to have that.”

Beasley and Dempsey are 34. Howard, the starting goalkeeper the past two World Cups, turned 38 this month. There’s a comfort level for the three with their new, and old, coach, Arena.

“They’re old, man, they’re some old cats,” Altidore said. “That’s a long time ago. Guys that we still need, guys with a lot of quality.”

“They’re not bad players,” Arena said when asked about his 30-somethings still playing for him on the big stage more than a decade later.

Dempsey and Howard are healthy again at last.

[ MORE: Bellerin talks Barcelona interest ]

Howard had surgery on his right thigh in November after getting hurt in a World Cup qualifying loss to Mexico and being replaced in the 40th minute. Dempsey had been out because of an irregular heartbeat.

“Experience counts for a lot in games like this, guys who understand what these games and what these moments are all about,” Bradley said. “In both their cases, their experience and their track record speaks for itself, guys who have been on the field for us on so many big days, on so many important days. For me, personally, I couldn’t be happier to have them both back and in the team and we’re going to rely on them in a big way on Friday night.”

Howard likes the mix of players brought in by Arena.

“I think that’s probably a testament to some of our longevity,” Howard said. “It’s good to have some pieces in play that have been there who understand the manager. There are a lot of young kids, too.”

NOTES: Altidore downplayed a Twitter back-and-forth with teammate Alejandro Bedoya on March 11. Bedoya spoke after Altidore drew a foul during Toronto FC’s 2-2 draw with Philadelphia. “Knowing Jozy, he tends to go down easy in the box, so let’s just leave it at that.” Altidore took to Twitter: “Nice comment pal (at)AleBedoya17. You have a lot to say but never to anyones face. Im surprised.. but I shouldn’t be.” The matter seems put to rest. “It’s all jokes, man,” Altidore told The Associated Press. “It’s nothing crazy. I’ve known Bedoya a long time. It’s all good.”

MLS Snapshot: Vancouver 1-1 Houston — Beasley, Rivero trade beauties (video)

Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The game in 100 words (or less): Vancouver is a long way from Houston. That could’ve been a problem for a Dynamo team that had yet to see a road point through six games. DaMarcus Beasley made sure to put the Dynamo on the front foot with a goal that turned back the hands of time and, after a shoving match between Alex and Pedro Morales left both sides down a man, Octavio Rivero scored an outside of the foot goal to level things up. Russell Teibert was an artistic passing machine for the ‘Caps, and both Tyler Deric and David Ousted made terrific stops as it ended 1-1.

Three moments that mattered

20′ — Beasley scores a beauty — This run, dribble and finish is something this man has done many-a-time in his long and storied career.

42′ — Alex and Morales trade shoves, see red — No reason for this, fellas.

52′ — Rivero scores an attractive equalizer — A measured, bending shot from a man capable of authoring beauty with his feet.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Russell Teibert

Goal scorers: Beasley (20′), Rivero (52′)

Thrilled by USMNT prospects, Picault enjoying “freedom” at St. Pauli

@Fafagoal23
Leave a comment

A few weeks back, we asked “Who is Fafa Picault?” and gave you the lowdown on the USMNT-eligible attacker for FC St. Pauli.

Now we’re hearing from the man himself thanks to American Soccer Now.

[ MORE: Story of Leicester’s season, game-by-game ]

He’s feeling well, thriving in a center forward-type role (He’s also played on the right and a bit on the left).

From American Soccer Now:

“I’m happy with the recent performances,” Picault told American Soccer Now from Hamburg. “I started out well when I first got to the club. It slowed down a bit. I felt a bit out of position. We had more of a defensive approach to the game. It wasn’t really fitting my style. With a few injuries I was able to be the sole striker up top.

“That is exactly what I needed: freedom. So I can express my speed and creativity to look to score or get assists and just be myself. It allows me to be me.”

The Brian Sciaretta-typed piece includes plenty of nuggets on Picault, including which USMNT player has served as his mentor. Read on.

USMNT: Klinsmann talks Beasley, Sept. friendlies, Howard as No. 2 keeper

10 Comments

The Yanks will go marching into their two September friendlies with two long-time stars in the fold and one eye on October’s Confederations Cup playoff against Mexico.

Tim Howard is back in the fold for the States, albeit as Brad Guzan’s back-up for now, while DaMarcus Beasley’s return from international retirement may not be the one-off “sendoff” match many suspected.

[ SPORTSWORLD: On Courtois | Clark talks NCAA soccer ]

Klinsmann talked about both players and the big Rose Bowl match-up with Mexico with USSoccer.com:

On Howard as his No. 2: “He knew it was not going to be easy to come back because obviously Brad Guzan established himself as the number one and played a very good tournament and the whole year he really did a good job. Tim has accepted for the time being to be the number two, and then down the road there will be a fight for the number one spot like in every position. He accepted that, and we are really happy to have him back on board because of who he is and what he has done for us.”

source: APOn Beasley: “He made himself available for the Gold Cup and it didn’t work out the way we all wanted it with his injury after the first training session. So we had that conversation and I asked him to reconsider the National Team and he was all fired up. He was all proud and happy and he said ‘I’m there for the U.S. National Team’.”

On the playing a Brazil with Neymar and Kaka: “We want to do well. We want to excite the fans and play two very good games, and at the same time we want to see the players perform. We want to see the players make statements towards the Mexico game, because that is really the biggest game of the year now after what happened at the Gold Cup. So it will be very interesting.”

How long do you think Guzan’s status as U.S. No. 1 is secure? Will one “off” game put Howard between the sticks? Do you expect Howard back for the Mexico match?

Beasley’s out of retirement as Klinsmann makes trio of moves for Gold Cup’s knockout rounds

14 Comments

DaMarcus Beasley, Joe Corona and Alan Gordon are now member of this summer’s USMNT Gold Cup squad, as head coach Jurgen Klinsmann looks to tidy up his squad a messy but successful group stage.

Gone are Jozy Altidore, Greg Garza and Alfredo Morales. Altidore “just wasn’t there yet”, according to Klinsmann.

Klinsmann is probably looking to push Fabian Johnson forward with the addition of Beasley, Houston’s dynamic left back who also can play as a winger. Beasley had been retired from international play for less than a year, and will look to build on his 121 caps and 17 goals.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Gold Cup coverage ]

Morales has struggled mightily for the USMNT on several occasions, and Monday’s tie with Panama might’ve been his toughest outing yet. In adding Corona, Klinsmann snares a Gold Cup winner who’s scored twice in the tournament.

Garza leaves after being a last-minute replacement for Brad Davis. Gordon gives Klinsmann cover at forward, and the big 33-year-old striker has only one cap for the U.S. (in 2012 against Antigua & Barbuda, where he picked up an assist).

The Gordon move will confuse some, but the big add is Beasley. His experience and leadership is invaluable, and he can be a marked upgrade in certain situations.