After stints in places like Eindhoven, Manchester, Glasgow, and Hannover, “Indiana guy” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of U.S. international DaMarcus Beasley. This weekend, however, Fort Wayne’s own will get a chance to get back to his roots.
On Saturday in Indianapolis, Beasley will be honored ahead of the NASL Indy Eleven’s fall season opener against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. The 32-year-old midfielder/fullback will be on hand to take part in a ceremonial “First Kick” in front of a sell-out (over 10,000) crowd at Carroll Stadium.
Team president and general manager Peter Wilt, who was with the Chicago Fire when they acquired Beasley in 1999:
“Since 2001, watching the United States Men’s National Team compete has been made that much more exciting for Hoosiers because DaMarcus Beasley was representing his country and his state with such great skill and pride … On behalf of the organization, I’d like to thank DaMarcus for making it to Carroll Stadium on Saturday to be recognized by Indy Eleven’s passionate fans and witness the growth of the sport in his home state in person.”
Indy Eleven, in its debut season in the second-tier NASL, is coming off its first victory, last weekend’s 2-1 win over the Carolina RailHawks. The team’s roster contains former MLS players Brad Ring and Kléberson, a product of the Southampton youth academy (Corby Moore), a well as loanees from Chicago (Victor Pineda), Montréal (Blake Smith), Real Sociedad (Sergio Peña), Molde (Ben Spencer), and Chivas Guadalajara (Jaime Frías)
On Saturday, however, those players will be overshadowed by one of four players to play every minute for the U.S. at the 2014 World Cup. Despite being one of the team’s oldest field players, Beasley proved to be one of its most reliable – a performance worthy of a loud welcome home.