DaMarcus Beasley had to leave a game this past weekend with an injury that could potentially keep the left-back out of contention for a spot for the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) roster for the upcoming World Cup. While playing for Puebla in the Mexican domestic league, Beasley left the game late in the first half.
Not much is known currently about the extent of the injury. The 31-year old, along with fellow four-time World Cup veteran Landon Donovan, had fully expected to lead the USMNT into this summers worldwide soccer tournament in Brazil. Now with the injury, it is not known if Beasley will make the squad. If the USMNT veteran makes the squad there may now be a question on how healthy will he be when the tournament starts.
During the 2006 World Cup, both Beasley and Donovan did not perform as then USMNT head coach Bruce Arena expected. Arena had publicly criticized the pair along with USA soccer fans. In that World Cup, Beasley assisted on the only goal for the USMNT and appeared to score the game winning goal against the Italian National Team that was called back due to a teammate being called for being offside.
With the injury potentially keeping DaMarcus Beasley off the roster and out of the World Cup for the USMNT this summer, it would put a lot more stress on the team. Over the years, when the World Cup draws the teams into groups to start the tournament, there is always one group that is considered the toughest. Known as the group of death, it takes a lower ranked team to play the best soccer possible to even have a chance. For this summers World Cup, the USMNT drew the group of death. The USMNT are ranked 13th in the world and will play the number two ranked Germany and the number 3 ranked Portugal in group play. The only easy game the USMNT was looking forward to in group play is against 38th ranked Ghana.
Now with Beasley potentially not fully healthy or worse yet, not on the team, it could make it very difficult for the USMNT to make it out of group play. Beasley had battles with injuries which limited his appearances with the National Team and resulted in him coming off the bench for his only appearance in the 2010 World Cup. Recently the veteran had a resurgence in his play, much like Donovan, which convinced current USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to name Beasley captain for the 2013 Gold Cup team.
With the World Cup only 50 days away and DaMarcus Beasley potentially out for a roster spot for the USMNT, it has suddenly become tough for Klinsmann. The head coach was already angry at Beasley’s Mexican club for not allowing the star to leave for the early April friendly against Mexico. Now Klinsmann may be forced to not select Beasley to the team or put the left-back into a different role for the team. This could open the door for teammates Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard or Michael Bradley to slide into the team captain role. Until Klinsmann knows the extent of the injury Beasley suffered this weekend, no one knows exactly what will happen with the USMNT roster for the upcoming trip to Brazil.
Commentary by Carl Auer