HOUSTON – Houston Dynamo captain and US men's national team legend DaMarcus Beasley retired from professional soccer after 20 years with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes – while receiving a standing ovation from the Houston crowd and his teammates.
Beasley started his professional career in 2000 at the age of 17 with the Chicago Fire and made stops in the Netherlands, Scotland, Germany and Mexico before landing with the Dynamo in 2014. Along the way he lifted 17 trophies at the club and international levels.
“I play with a smile on my face, that is who I am that what I am about, I just want to play the game and that’s it. There was nothing different the last 500 to this game, obviously it’s the last one but I always want to win,” Beasley said after the Dynamo played spoiler in a 4-2 win over the LA Galaxy on Sunday. Houston were already eliminated from playoff contention coming into Decision Day presented by AT&T.
The 37-year-old announced his intention to retire following the season back in May. Beasley left the field for the last time as a professional in the 89th minute while receiving hugs from his teammates and opponents and cheers from the fans at BBVA Stadium.
“It was hard to hold that emotion in because I knew it was the end, but it was so crazy because it was so many emotions obviously I am leaving the game and I am not going to play anymore, but we had just scored so it was happy tears.”
Beasley made 124 appearances with the Dynamo, helping the club reach the Western Conference Championship in 2017 and was the captain as he and his teammates won the 2018 U.S. Open Cup.
“He means a lot for the Dynamo, he means a tone for soccer in this country in general. Not only for the Houston Dynamo but if you’re involved in the game in this country in any way DaMarcus had a big hand in pushing the game and the league,” said Dynamo interim head coach Davy Arnaud.
The 37-year-old left wingback is the only player who has ever played during four World Cups for the USMNT, competing in 2002, 2006, 2014 and 2016. In his stint with the USMNT, he earned 126 caps, scored 17 goals and delivered 13 assists.
“I have many memories with him, when I had just arrived. About three days in without knowing me without even sharing a word I let him know that I really wanted a shirt of the national team and he gave me a shirt and a very special shirt because it that was the one he wore at the World Cup in Brazil. That is a gesture that I will never forget,” said Dynamo forward Mauro Manotas.
Although Beasley has made it clear that he is not interested in being a coach wants to stay in soccer no matter what.
“I definitely want to stay in football, I don’t want to coach and I know I have said that a million times, but I am saying it again I don’t want to coach,” said Beasley jokingly.