ussoccer.com: How did the whole Rangers deal come down?
DaMarcus Beasley: “It really came out of the blue. Someone from Rangers expressed interest right before the Gold Cup, and I was still talking with Manchester City at the time. I had never thought about playing in Scotland before. When the Rangers thing came about, the Champions League opportunity was definitely something that I wanted to do.”
ussoccer.com: Do you have trouble understanding Scottish people?
DMB: “Yeah, it’s tough understanding people in Glasgow. They talk so fast! I’m getting better at understanding them. Obviously, it’s still English, but it’s funny how hard it is for them to understand me, and me to understand them.”
ussoccer.com: You tried any Scottish food yet?
DMB: “I’m trying to stay away from it. I’ve heard of haggis. They also have fried Mars bars that I keep hearing about. So no, I haven’t tried any natural Scottish foods. I don’t think I ever will.”
(Editor’s note: In case you were thinking DaMarcus is lacking an ‘adventurous spirit’, Merriam Webster defines haggis as “a traditionally Scottish dish that consists of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep or a calf minced with suet, onions, oatmeal, and seasonings and boiled in the stomach of the animal.” You decide.)
ussoccer.com: How long were at Rangers before they started talking about the Old Firm rivalry?
DMB: “I think it was the third question I got when I first arrived. Rangers-Celtic is one of the biggest rivalries in the world. I’ve been fortunate enough to play in some good derbies so far in my career, but I think Rangers-Celtic will be the highest one I’ve ever played in. I’m definitely looking forward to it. I know what’s at stake.”
ussoccer.com: Do you hate Celtic already?
DMB: “I wouldn’t say I hate them, but I have a strong dislike. Once you’re involved at Rangers and you know the history about it and all the things around it, it goes with the territory. You don’t wear green. You don’t talk about Celtic. There are things you just don’t do.”
ussoccer.com: What do you like most about Glasgow so far?
DMB: “I like that it’s a real city. It’s busy around Glasgow. I grew up in Indiana, but since I lived in Chicago I always liked the city life. I didn’t get that very much in Eindhoven or Manchester. Glasgow is a great city to be in. It has a lot of history as well. I live around a lot museums and old buildings and stuff you can sightsee. It has a lot of new with the old, and I like that kind of thing.”
ussoccer.com: Are you happy with the decision to go to Rangers?
DMB: “I’m definitely honored to play for a club like Rangers. It has a lot of history and tradition. I’m opening a new chapter in my book. I’m excited for the rest of the season. It’s been a good start for me individually and the team.”
ussoccer.com: Best Gold Cup memory?
DMB: (laughs) “I just remember missing the goal! As soon as you said Gold Cup final, the first thing that popped in my head was me missing the goal that went over the top that could have definitely killed the game off (against Mexico). At the same time, you never get tired of winning championships. I’ve been fortunate to do that with PSV, the national team, and Chicago, and hopefully I can do the same with Rangers. The Gold Cup was a great experience for us. It was our first real time as a team. We had a young team, and for us to go out and play like we did and to beat Mexico in that kind of game was unbelievable. It’s definitely one of those games that I’ll look back on and say I was glad to be a part of it.”
ussoccer.com: Ever get tired of beating Mexico?
DMB: “Never. Anytime we play them – home, away, in England – it doesn’t matter. There’s never a better feeling than beating Mexico. To beat them in a final and win something is even better. It’s always the highlight of my year when we play Mexico. I’m glad I was a part of it. And next time I won’t kick the ball over the damn net!”