Few players from the United States have done and seen more in their careers than DaMarcus Beasley, and as he announced his retirement this week, he urged the US Under-20 men's national team to give him another memorable sight to witness.
“Go out and win it,” said Beasley in a media conference call when asked what advice he’d offer to Tab Ramos’ squad as they prepare to open their campaign at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland. “Go out and win it – have that mentality. I’m sure Tab has that group thinking that way, but have the mentality that you are going to win the tournament.
“Now if you say ‘let’s see how we do, maybe we get to the semi,’ no – your objective is to win the tournament. I’m sure they have that mentality already. We want to see that happen.”
The youth national teams provided “Run DMB” with a vital runway to his incredible 20-year run as a professional. He starred at the 1999 U-17 World Cup and 2001 U-20 World Cup – back then called the FIFA World Youth Championship – alongside other future stars like Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu, helping lay the foundation for future crops of young talent.
“With the U-20s, enjoy it,” the Houston Dynamo captain advised this year’s group, widely tabbed as one of the best the country has ever produced. “Those moments – you never get back, you never have another U-20 championship. When you are with the full team, yeah – you might get another Gold Cup, another World Cup, but when you are young and you are with your buddies, you are playing at the highest level at your age, you only get one. So make the best of it.”
Beasley, who turns 37 on Friday, said he’ll be watching as much of the action in Poland as possible and underlined his faith in Ramos – whose own stellar USMNT career ended just as his began – and the players.
“I do want to say good luck to them. I hope they do really well,” said Beasley. “I know [Ramos] will have the team ready to go and I’m excited to watch. We have a lot, a lot of good talent in the youth national team pool.
“At the end of the day I’m a fan. I’m a fan, I want to see this program growing and growing. It starts with them. It starts with the U-17s and U-20s. So I want to see them grow and I want to see someday, at some point in my lifetime, the USA win a World Cup with the men’s team, and it starts with them.”