53014_beasleydamarcus_isi_usmnt051914113 John Todd/isiphotos.com

DaMarcus Beasley Owns The Elder Statesman Role

The midfielder-turned-defender is the most experienced player on the United States roster and he's ready to help lead the American squad into his fourth World Cup.
BY Noah Davis Posted
May 30, 2014
7:02 PM
TWELVE YEARS AGO DaMarcus Beasley burst onto the international stage at the 2002 World Cup alongside another young American. You might remember him: Landon Donovan.

As a result, the pair have been inextricably linked in the eyes of the American fans for more than a decade. Except Beasley doesn't see it that way. "It's been a Landon and Landon thing. It's always been a Landon and Landon thing. Don't get it twisted," he said when asked if it was strange only one member of the Donovan and Beasley Show would represent the United States national team in Brazil.

He continued: "I mean, it's been difficult. But at the same time, the coaches make the decision. Everyone knows Landon is a very good friend of mine. We've been through a lot together. National team. Youth level."

Beasley, who with 115 caps has the most on the team and is the only defender to have played in a World Cup, will be tasked with being a leader to the inexperienced group. His advice to his younger teammates is simple. "Enjoy the moment," he told them. "You might not ever get a chance to be in the World Cup again. Enjoy things off the field with your family. Enjoy things that we do as a team that [the media] doesn't know about."

At U.S. Soccer Media Day in Midtown Manhattan, Beasley was laid back, relaxed, and comfortable, looking very much like someone who had been through it all before and come out relatively unscathed. He smiled and joked, showing no nervousness. His attitude seems to be rubbing off on some of the less experienced players, who talked about maintaining their composure on the biggest stage in the soccer world.

"You go into these games like you go into any other game," the Seattle Sounders DeAndre Yedlin said. "You focus on the game. You don't really change anything obviously. Yeah, it's a bigger stage, but when you start thinking about stuff like Ronaldo that's when you start to get off your rhythm and off your game."

Yedlin's comments sounded like those coming from a much older player, from someone like Beasley. The youngster would do well to emulate the left back who is still playing for the U.S. because he was willing to drop back in the formation from midfield to defender. "I didn't even think about it," he said. "When [Klinsmann] asked me to play it, I played it. There was never a conversation after that Costa Rica game like 'if you want to be a part of the team, you have to play left back.' It was just the fact that he kept calling me in and I kept playing left back."

After all these years, he's still there.

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