DaMarcus Beasley is returning to MLS, and he'll do so wearing orange.
The four-time World Cup veteran was selected by the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday after the club swung a deal to obtain the top spot in the allocation order along with allocation money from Toronto FC in exchange for Warren Creavalle.
“When it became known around the first week of July that DaMarcus Beasley was looking to come back to MLS, we threw our hat in the ring and expressed interest with the league and with his agent Richard Motzkin,” Dynamo president Chris Canetti told MLSsoccer.com. “We played a pretty vital role in eventually getting the contract signed with the league over the course of the weeks. We were part of the driving force behind that.
“Given that we had expended energy time and effort into making the signing happen, we wanted to make sure that the process could see its way through and that he ended up with us.”
Houston got their man in Beasley, who has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal and will arrive as the club’s third Designated Player, joining Boniek Garcia and young DP Alexander Lopez. As a midseason DP, Beasley, 32, will count for $193,000 against the salary budget.
According to MLS rules, Designated Players of a certain threshold - as determined by the league - are subject to the allocation ranking. Beasley falls into that category the same way Maurice Edu did when he signed with the Philadelphia Union earlier this year.
Bringing in the international veteran was a no-brainer for the club. Beasley’s track record at the World Cup – he's the only US player to appear in four tournaments – and the pedigree gained from a 10-year career abroad that includes league titles and UEFA Champions League appearances was an attractive trait.
“The simplest and most basic thing is we think he makes our team better,” Canetti said. “We got a veteran of the World Cup and club soccer who has played with some of the most elite clubs in the world spending time with Manchester City, Rangers, Puebla and PSV Eindhoven. He brings a lot of quality play and veteran leadership and he is a name our fans can recognize and be happy to see joining the team.”
Where Beasley will fit in will be answered later. A left-sided player, he has seen success in recent years as a left back, including a successful stint at the World Cup with his new teammate Brad Davis, after being a blazing left winger. His versatility is one of the values Houston likes in him and the club could deploy him at either spot.
MLSsoccer.com also has learned from sources close to the negotiations that the club is in advanced talks to make another addition to the lineup. Although his name was withheld due to ongoing negotiations, sources confirm he's a player that has international experience that includes playing in the World Cup in Brazil.
To make the latter move happen, Houston had to part ways with Creavalle, a player that gained respect for his strong play, versatility and work ethic. While Creavalle has a bright future, the move for Beasley and for a second player shows the club's ambition to push for a playoff spot. Houston have struggled this season earning just 19 points in 20 games, but they stand only five points out of the playoff picture.
But even beyond 2014, Canetti is convinced the moves will help the team with an eye to the future.
"We’ve created a plan and a strategy that says we want to try and make the playoffs this year,” he said. “We don’t believe the team’s currently constituted in the fashion to do that and we need to make those changes. We also have stated that we will not do anything that's just for the short term."
Houston take on Aston Villa in an international friendly on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium (9 pm ET, streamed live at HoustonDynamo.com) and expect to have Beasley available when they take on D.C. United the following week (Sunday, Aug. 3 at 8 pm ET on UDN).
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.