Beasley glad to be back with U.S. soccer
Da MARCUS BEASLEY doesn't know what to consider himself. Is he a veteran? Is he a stalwart? Or is he just lucky?
DaMARCUS BEASLEY doesn't know what to consider himself.
Is he a veteran? Is he a stalwart? Or is he just lucky?
Whatever he is, Beasley is once again a member of the U.S. national team, courtesy of newly minted men's coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
The last time Beasley donned a U.S. national team uniform was in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, an event where the United States' perfomance captivated a nation, but found Beasley taking it all in in the shadows, playing in just one match, against Algeria . . . for the last 11 minutes.
Tonight, Beasley, 29, could earn his 94th cap (international appearances) when the United States hosts Mexico at Lincoln Financial Field (9 p.m., ESPN2, Univision). Whatever he is to this new-look 22-man squad Klinsmann has brought together, he knows it's a blessing to have a second look.
"The World Cup on a personal level didn't go the way I planned," Beasley said yesterday before the United States' final training session at the NovaCare Complex. "Obviously the team did great and that was fantastic, but it was difficult to sit there and watch all that go down. You want to be there to help your teammates on the field. It's been a year since I have been called in [U.S. camp], so I am taking it in stride and I am going to go from there, not looking at it from an in-the-future standpoint anymore."
Probably because it's not worth the migraine knowing Klinsmann is intent on structuring a complete transformation of the youth system in this country, making it akin to many of those in Europe. But yesterday Klinsmann alluded to incorporating veterans like Beasley as the "backbone" of his team.
"What you are trying to do is group together a corps of guys that have been here for years and then you also try to incorporate some new faces," Klinsmann said. "This is important in order to experiment and get an idea of just where these kids are. I am curious to see DaMarcus in the group . . . I want to see how he fits in this whole group and that's really what I am doing position-by-position."
What that means to Beasley is unclear in terms of where he fits in, but with his new coach, as he says, it's nice as a veteran to feel respected.
"I have no clue what I am here for anymore," joked Beasley, who now plays with Mexican club Puebla. "I mean, I guess you can say I am a veteran. I have been a part of the national team since I was about 17-18 [years old]. But this is a new coach, new era, everything is new. And I am happy to be a part of it."
Orozco Fiscal's back
For the second day in a row, Michael Orozco Fiscal, the former Union defender who was on loan with the club, spoke about his return to Philly with the U.S. national team. Orozco Fiscal, let loose without any real explanation from the Union's technical staff, has been playing "extremely well" according to Klinsmann. Back with Mexican first division club San Luis, Orozco Fiscal claims he has no animosity with the Union's decision.
"I am very happy to be out here and to represent the U.S., but it's especially special to be doing it here in Philly," Orozco Fiscal said. "I had a good year here with the team, the fans and I have a lot of good friends out here. Hoping to get a couple of minutes [tonight against Mexico] to show Michael still loves Philly and if I could come back here I would."
And his love for the coaching staff that cut ties without warning?
"Listen, things did not work out as planned and [Union manager Peter Nowak] has very good defenders in Carlos Valdes and Danny [Califf]. But I'm not going to lie, it was a shock the way it all went down; it was very disappointing for me, it was just things with contracts and money and all this. But I am putting that all aside; now I play for San Luis and I'm happy to be there.''
Orozco Fiscal wasted little time seeing old friends; he met up and dined with former Union pals Danny Califf and Roger Torres on Monday. Torres roomed with Orozco Fiscal last season.
Odds and endlines
Of the 22 players on tonight's roster, eight play in Major League Soccer, with FC Dallas (midfielder Brek Shea, defender Zach Loyd) and Red Bull New York (defender Tim Ream, forward Juan Agudelo) each with two representatives . . . The USA is 15-32-11 all-time vs. Mexico, but 10-5-2 since 2000. . . . A U.S. Soccer representative said 25,000 tickets were sold as of last night, with a walk-up of 3,000-4,000 expected . . . MLS released the dates for the upcoming postseason. In all, 13 matches will be played beginning Oct. 26 with a break for FIFA international match fixture dates on Nov. 11 and Nov. 15. MLS Cup will be held at the Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) on Nov. 20. The complete schedule is on page 44.