HOUSTON – DaMarcus Beasley knows where he wants to play: the left back position that rejuvenated his international career and helped him become the first US player to represent his country in four World Cups.
Beasley has transitioned to the back line over the past few years and wound up with a starring role for the US at the World Cup in Brazil. When asked where he sees his best role on his new team, the Houston Dynamo, the newly minted Designated Player was clear he would man any position the club asked him but said that the left side of defense was his preference.
“Do I see myself as a left back? Yes.” Beasley said Thursday in his introductory press conference. “Jurgen [Klinsmann, USMNT head coach] had the confidence in me to play left back in the World Cup against some of the best players in the world so I’ve got to have confidence in myself I can play that position.
“I see myself as a defender. Wherever [Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear] is going to put me is where I fit best into the team I’ll play it,” Beasley continued. “Do I still have the midfield mentality sometimes? Of course. Do I still want to score goals? Of course. I never have that out of mind when I play. But I do have a job to do, being a defender, and that’s to defend and that’s my first job.”
How the club will work the 32-year-old Beasley into the lineup is the major question surrounding the acquisition. Houston have struggled in the back, and adding a World Cup-level player to that mix should only help the team. Currently the club has incumbent Corey Ashe as their left back and Brad Davis entrentched on the left side of midfield. That stacked left flank will make for a tricky decision from Kinnear come game time.
It is a good problem for the club to have, and Kinnear was clear he did not bring Beasley in to play one position.
“He can fit in the midfield, he can fit in the back,” Kinnear said. “What drew us to wanting him is that he’s a good player and makes our team better. It’s pretty simple. Longevity and consistency are two of his main traits. When you look at him, you have the feeling he can play a couple of more years.”
Beasley’s first time on the training field will be Friday, but when speaking to reporters, the Dynamo's newest DP said he has been on a break since the World Cup, getting back to work only a week ago. That could keep him out of the club’s friendly against Aston Villa on Saturday (9 pm ET, HoustonDynamo.com), but he said the Aug. 3 game against D.C. United could mark his debut in orange.
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All questions aside, Houston landed the biggest signing in their history in a player who boasts arguably the best career resume of any US player, one that includes a UEFA Champions League semifinal appearance and 10 trophies to his name.
“I would say it is the best [signing],” Davis told MLSsoccer.com after Thursday’s training. “He’s played at a high level for a long time and proved himself at that level. There’s a reason he’s played in four World Cups. For us to be able to add a player of his quality, I’m extremely excited and looking forward to what he’s going to bring to us.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.