KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jamar Beasley was in the midst of wrapping up the indoor soccer season with the Rockford Rampage when he got a phone call.
On the other end of the line was Wizards’ assistant coach Zoran Savic, who had coached Beasley while manager of the Kansas City Comets.
“He just said, ‘Hey, after your indoor season, we want to take a look at you,'” Beasley said.
It wasn’t a contract offer. It wasn’t even a sure thing. But it was an opportunity, a chance for Beasley to return to Major League Soccer after a nine-year hiatus spent dominating indoor leagues across the United States.
After training with the club for nearly three weeks, Kansas City announced today that Beasley had agreed to terms on an MLS contract. Midfielder Igor Kostrov was released to make room for the 30-year-old midfielder, who played for the New England Revolution and Chicago Fire from 1998 to 2001.
“I’m just so happy right now,” said Beasley, whose younger brother, DaMarcus, was named to the US World Cup roster on Wednesday.
Beasley left MLS in 2001 to join Italian club Atletico Puteolana, but he spent only one year in Italy before returning home to play indoor soccer. Because of the layoff between stints playing outdoor professionally, Wizards manager Peter Vermes said the coaching staff’s primary objective was to help him reacclimatize to the outdoor game.
“He was doing almost like an interval,” Vermes said. “You’re on for 45 seconds or a minute, and then you’re off. We’re on for 45 minutes. There is a big difference between the two.”
Prior to joining the Wizards, Beasley visited his brother in Scotland, where DaMarcus was playing for Glasgow Rangers. When Savic spoke to Beasley to express the Wizards’ interest, he asked if the midfielder was going to train with the team while he was overseas.
That suggestion prompted a phone call to DaMarcus, who helped arrange an ideal venue for Beasley to prepare himself mentally and physically for a trial with Kansas City.
“At first I was a little nervous being on the field with some of the best players in the world and Scotland,” Beasley said. “My brother told me to just go out there and play like I know how to play.”
The Wizards hope Beasley’s game translates from the cramped confines of the indoor game to the open space and constant running that he'll find in MLS. Vermes said he hopes the speed and shiftiness Beasley has shown so far in training can translate into another experienced attacking option.
Beasley acknowledged he still has some work to do to improve his fitness level and needs time to get more comfortable with his teammates. But for now, he is just excited to be back in MLS and ready to prepare for any opportunity that presents itself.
“I just want to be that guy that whenever I’m called upon to get it done, gets in there and does the job,” Beasley said.