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w/ MNT Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley

Off-the-wall Questions and Answers, Queries and Anecdotes from U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder DaMarcus Beasley.

We all cringed when we saw it. The tackle DaMarcus Beasley suffered in a league game with PSV last month was ugly. Actually, it was more scary than ugly, as Jitterbug was flailing on the ground in immense pain and every U.S. MNT fan held their breath, hoping it wasn’t as bad as it appeared. 

Thankfully, Beaz wasn’t fatally injured and is on his way back, spending this week in Chicago going through rehab and trying to get ready for the upcoming qualifiers. After practice in Chicago, he sat
down with to talk about the injury, his fantastic year with PSV and how much Dutch he’s learned. How does it feel to be back in Chicago?

DaMarcus Beasley: “Unbelievable.  It’s great getting to see old friends.  Just being in America is good.  I feel good being back home.” How did you come to be in training camp this week?
DM: “I was doing rehab for my knee in Holland.  I couldn’t play in the Dutch Cup Final (May 29), so they thought it would be better if I came back here to see familiar doctors and get treatment to get ready for the World Cup qualifiers.” How are you physically at this point?
DM: “I feel good. I’m probably 50-60 percent.  It’s not enough that I can even get on the field and train.  Every day is getting better, so I’m pretty optimistic about June 4 [vs. Costa Rica].” What would you put your chances at?
DM: “I’d say 100 percent, being the player that I am, always wanting to play.  I feel that I’ll be ready.  I want to be on the field. I hate being hurt.  This is one of my longest injuries I’ve ever had.  It’s the only injury I’ve ever had.” Now that you’ve been forced to sit out a few weeks, have you picked up on things you wouldn’t normally see when you’re playing?
DM: “It’s definitely different being a spectator and not playing.  You see a lot more. You see how good players really are, and how they move on the field.  Usually in a game, you’re just worried about yourself and the team, but now you see how they train.  It’s good to get that aspect of the game as well.” Your injury was replayed several times; in fact, it was breaking news on ESPN News.  It didn’t look good on TV.  Take us through it...
DM: “It didn’t feel good, I’ll tell you that.  I was in the midfield and beat a couple players.  I kind of had a bad touch coming up the field.  A guy was coming towards me and I tried to play it around him.  I was slipping at the same time, and my leg was bent.  He hit me right below the knee.  He got half my skin, and the bone in my LCL popped out and popped back in.  It was a pretty nasty tackle.  I was in a lot of pain” You thought you were in trouble?
DM: “I thought my career was done.  Looking at my knee when he first hit me, it was nasty.  There was blood everywhere.” Did you watch the replays?
DM: “I only saw it once, and I don’t ever want to see it again.  It made me sick to my stomach.” You’ve had a season in Holland now, getting a chance to be immersed in the culture, the climate and your surroundings.  What can you say to us in Dutch?
DM: “(laughs).  What do you want me to say?  [DaMarcus proceeded to say several phrases in Dutch, none of which we will attempt to spell, pronounce, or translate].  I understand it more than I speak.  It’s a hard language.  If John O’Brien were over here and said something, I would probably understand it.” Moving on to Costa Rica and Panama.  How important are these next two qualifiers in efforts to qualify for the World Cup?
DM: “This is going to make or break us.  If we get these six points, I think we’re in a good position to make the 2006 World Cup.  These two games are crucial.  We feel confident.  We have a great group of guys here.  A lot of guys from Europe had a long season, but this week will be good for them to get their legs back.  That’s what it’s like being in international football.  I’m confident we’re going to get it done.” Again, since you’ve had some down time, have you had the chance to reflect on an incredible first season with PSV?
DM: “A little bit.  I’ve been able to sit back and think about the year myself and my club had.  We have incredible young players that can play at that level.  [PSV Coach] Guus Hiddink made us grow up fast, playing in the Champions League and winning the league title.  It’s definitely great to play under him.  Hopefully we get some more players for next year and can make the same run.” Six goals in the Dutch League, four in the Champions League … When did you become such a scoring sensation?

DM: “I don’t know.  My goal was to get 15 goals in all competitions, and I got 12, so I got close.  I thought maybe if I would have played those last three weeks, I could have got it.  It was fun scoring goals and being in the position to score goals – playing as a type of forward in central midfield behind the two main forwards.  Holland gives you a lot of freedom to play and a lot to be an individual, so it was very good for a young player to experience.” Did you know it was going to be like that going over, that you would have so many attacking opportunities?
DM: “I didn’t know it would be like that.  I knew it was going to be more attacking style of football, but I had no idea how attacking minded.  When I come back to midfield, he tells me to stay up.  If we get the ball, they give it to me and let me go one-v-one or one-v-two.  That’s our game. He lets the forwards play their positions. We just stay up and attack.” We imagine scoring 12 goals would put you in the good graces with the fans…
DM: “(laughs).  It’s been great.  I feel good playing at PSV.  The fans have definitely welcomed me.  Any time I’m out and about, they always show me love.  I definitely feel they are behind me, and I’m proud that I won over the fans with the way that I played.