Run-DMB Hits 100 with USMNT

Forget for a moment the fact that the US’s weak performance against Belgium in Cleveland yesterday does not bode well for their meeting with Germany on Sunday—not to mention their trio of pivotal World Cup qualifiers in early June (against Jamaica, Panama, and Honduras).

Let’s just ignore that for a few minutes, along with the increasing evidence that Jurgen Klinsmann is not a very good soccer coach.

Instead, let’s pause to celebrate DaMarcus Beasley, the 31-year-old Puebla midfielder who made his 100th appearance for the US last night.

Here is the wiry speedster, looking back:

Beasley, who won the Silver Ball at the 1999 U-17 World Cup, finishing right behind Golden Ball winner Landon Donovan in the voting, may have more to give to the USMNT. He told the MLS website yesterday that he’s still fighting for a spot in meaningful games: “I’m going to push the young guys to make them push me out of the lineup again.”

Some 20 friends and family members were on hand to cheer the Fort Wayne, Ind., native as he hit the century mark, becoming just the 13th player in US soccer history to reach the milestone.

Who Says DaMarcus Beasley Is Done with the USMNT?

Not DaMarcus Beasley. Check out the first (and second) touch he uses to destroy Jaguares de Chiapas’s right back and score Puebla’s goal in a 1-0 triumph in Mexican top-flight action on Saturday:

We agree with the announcer: Golazo.

We’ll also add, again, that Beasley is only 29, and almost three months younger than Landon Donovan, who won the Golden Ball to Beasley’s Silver at the 1999 U-17 World Cup.

The former will most certainly be a part of the United States side for World Cup qualifying in June. If he keeps this up, so may the latter.

USMNT: Quick Hits on Honduras Win

It took four games, but Jurgen Klinsmann finally locked up his first win as coach of the U.S. national team as the Yanks edged Honduras 1-0 in Miami this past Saturday.

Clint Dempsey scored a beautiful goal just before halftime and Tim Howard made several excellent saves to preserve the lead in rainy, windy conditions at Sun Life Stadium.

The Americans could have—should have—added to their margin at least twice as Brek Shea and Oguchi Onyewu each missed sitters in the second half.

Three quick hits on the game:

1. Comeback Kids—Well, maybe they’re not kids—they’re both 29—but centerback Oguchi Onyewu and winger DaMarcus Beasley both returned to the team after long absences, and both performed well.

Onyewu, who is getting regular playing time for Sporting Clube de Portugal (don’t call it Sporting Lisbon), looked confident and steady—a lot like the quality player he was before a ruptured patellar tendon derailed his career in Oct 2009. Even if he missed a wide-open net on the rebound of Dempsey’s shot in the 66th minute.

Beasley was active and dangerous in his 25-minute cameo on the left wing. He combined well with Dempsey a few times, and looked very capable of staying in the USMNT picture. He has two goals for Puebla this season.

2. The Sons of Thomas Dooley—Klinsmann played against Dooley, the first German-American player to make a splash with the U.S. team, and he is continuing the tradition that brought the former Schalke 04 defender to these shores, tapping Hoffenheim’s Danny Williams for this camp, and giving another nod to Nuremberg’s Timmy Chandler. Both looked like worthy additions to the pool.

Williams lined up in right midfield and nearly scored 30 minutes into his debut, curling a shot just over the top left corner from 18 yards out. He also had a diving header blocked in the 45th minute.

Chandler may end up being the starting left back for the U.S. when World Cup qualifying begins next year. He’s a little raw, but extremely athletic, and he combined well with rising star Shea on the left.

Speaking of…

3. Brek Shea: A Bro Who Keeps Things Extremely Chill

The 21-year old winger who just doesn’t like “normal haircuts” recently did a live chat with MLS fans on Facebook, and, as the MLS Insider noted, got the following question: “Brek you seem like a bro who keeps things extremely chill. What’s your secret?”

We have no idea, but whatever it is, it’s working. After a shaky debut against Colombia in Oct 2010, Shea has been consistently effective for the U.S. in five subsequent appearances. He should have scored his first USMNT goal (he has one assist) when Jozy Altidore put it on a platter for him in the 53rd minute, but apart from that flub, he had another excellent game.

So what is his secret? Maybe it’s the painting—did you know Shea’s an artist in his spare time? Check it out here (really).

Another fun fact about Shea: he’s the first player born in the 1990s to make an appearance for the full national team.

Honduras highlights:

Klinsmann’s boys return to action tonight at Red Bull Arena, where they’ll take on Ecuador (7:00 pm ET, ESPN2).

Yanks Abroad Weekend Roundup

The weekend was good to Amerkins plying their trade abroad as two Yanks went the full 90 in the Old Firm derby, Michael Bradley made his Serie A debut with Chievo, and several others got on the scoresheet. Let’s hop to it.

Edson Buddle bagged a brace for his Bundesliga 2 side Ingolstadt, helping them to a 4-2 win over Dynamo Dresden, and getting called a “Klinsmann boy” by the German announcer. Buddle hopes so. See his goals here:

Herculez Gomez is probably wondering if he, too, might be called a “Klinsmann boy” soon, after he continued his goal-scoring ways in Mexico, slotting home the second one in Estudiantes Tecos’s 2-0 win over Club Tijuana (and potential U.S. international Joe Corona) on Sunday:

While Buddle and Gomez hit the net, and Clint Dempsey set up a goal for Fulham against Manchester City, U.S. winger DaMarcus Beasley had a huge impact in Puebla’s 4-1 win over Chivas de Guadalajara without actually getting his name on the scoresheet.

The 29-year-old speedster from Fort Wayne, Ind., torched the Chivas backline twice, drawing two red cards and one penalty for his team (scroll to 2:27 mark for Beasley’s first great run):

In Scotland, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu both started and played 90 minutes in Rangers’ 4-2 win over archrivals Celtic, and in Italy, Bradley became just the second American in the modern era (after Alexi Lalas) to appear in a Serie A match when he came on for the last 18 minutes of Chievo’s 2-1 loss to Parma on Sunday.

Finally, from Sports Illustrated’s website comes the following quote out of Germany regarding potential U.S. international Timmy Chandler:

“I can tell you that [Germany coach Joachim] Loew neither phoned nor met with Timmy,” says the player’s agent, Thomas Kroth. “Nothing has changed, nothing at all. He’s still very happy to play for the U.S.”

For the latest MLS action, go check out our column at the league site.

What is DaMarcus Beasley Doing In Mexico?

Well, recently at least, he’s scoring goals.

See (amateur, partial, footage of) his game-winning header in the semifinals of a preseason tournament, here:

That tally sent Puebla to the final, where they’ll face San Luis (home of former Philadelphia Union centerback Michael Orozco Fiscal). The game was Beasley’s debut with the team (he signed June 22), and he also drew a penalty in the match, which a teammate missed. So, all good for Run DMB, and we wish him the best.

But why didn’t Beasley come back to MLS, especially after expressing interest, in May, in doing just that?

According to this report, there wasn’t a team willing to pay more than $200,000 for him.

When you consider that Benny Feilhaber landed a reported $400,000 salary to play for New England, this is a little surprising. Feilhaber is three years younger than Beasley and more in the mix for the US national team, but Beasley would bring almost as much to the table in MLS as Feilhaber does.

As for how much he’s getting from Puebla, well, he was the 15th player (of 20) signed this offseason by the rebuilding club, and he came on board after trialing with Pachuca and not being offered a contract. Can they be shelling out much more than $200,000 for the player? Seems unlikely. (And info is scarce on the InterWebs.)

If he follows up on his bright debut, Beasley might make some MLS teams think twice about their decision.

DaMarcus Beasley Retains Eye of Tiger, Thrill of Fight

American winger DaMarcus Beasley has returned from an eight-week layoff due to a thigh injury and appears to be picking up where he left off in December—that is, as a man possessed with the quest of making the U.S. roster for South Africa 2010.

He played 45 minutes in Rangers’ 3-0 win over Hibernian this past weekend, making several dangerous runs that drew free kicks, and yesterday, he went 70 minutes for Rangers’ reserve team, scoring a goal in a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock. He nearly added another just before halftime, and was dangerous throughout his time on the field. Click here for the match report from Rangers’ website.

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but if Beasley maintains this level through the spring, we say his combination of experience, speed, and ability to unbalance opposing defenses makes him the best candidate for the left wing spot in the U.S. national-team pool.

Torres Hits Golazo; Bradley and Beasley Shine

We covered the FA Cup and the exploits of Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu in Greece, but there were three other foreign-based Americans who turned in performances worth noting this past weekend.

Leading the way was U.S. midfielder Jose Francisco Torres, who shook off a recent hamstring injury to score the winner—on a gorgeous free kick six minutes from time—in Pachuca’s 5-3 victory over Puebla. Here are the highlights from that goal-fest (note the header for Puebla by MLS alum Carlos Ruiz):

Michael Bradley had a stellar game for Borussia Moenchengladbach as it downed relegation-battling FC Nurnberg 2-1. The American midfielder sprung Marco Reus behind the Nurnberg defense with a perfect through ball in the 27th minute. Reus rounded the keeper and cut the ball back for Roberto Colautti to punch in for the opening goal. Bradley went the full 90; the win moves the Foals into 11th place in the Bundesliga.

In Scotland, Yank winger DaMarcus Beasley returned to action for the first time since December, starting and playing the first half of league-leading Rangers’ 3-0 win over third-place Hibernian. According to Yanks Abroad, Beasley troubled Hibs with his speed in the early going, drawing several free kicks. Beasley’s teammate and fellow Yank Maurice Edu dressed but did not play.

On the downside, U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber picked up an ankle injury and limped out of a training session with his Danish club Aarhus today. He’s awaiting x-ray and MRI results for a clearer prognosis.

DaMarcus Beasley’s Car Firebombed in Glasgow

Late Monday night in Glasgow, U.S. and Rangers winger DaMarcus Beasley heard tires screeching on the street outside his home. When he looked out the window, he saw his BMW in flames.

No one was injured, but police say the attack was deliberate, calling it a case of “willful fireraising.” No other cars on the street were targeted, and the investigation is ongoing.

This is the second time Beasley’s car has been targeted by Glasgow thugs: In December 2008, his vehicle was broken into and ransacked while parked outside his home.

The 27-year-old midfielder and his American teammate at Rangers, Maurice Edu, have also been taunted with racial epithets from fans during their careers in Europe.

Beasley is currently recovering from a thigh injury, and hopes to return to action in two weeks.

Break Up the Cottagers!

Fulham stunned Manchester United 3-0 on Saturday, getting its second goal just after halftime when American Clint Dempsey knocked down a Damien Duff cross directly into the path of Bobby Zamora and the in-form striker made no mistake about it from about eight yards.

Danny Murphy had opened the scoring in the 21st minute with a strike from distance after dispossessing Paul Scholes, and Zamora later set up Duff for the third, in the 75th minute.

Here are the highlights:

The impressive win stretches Fulham’s home unbeaten streak to six. The West Londoners are also unbeaten in their last five games, home or away, and sit ninth in the table, just one point behind Liverpool, with a game in hand on the scousers.

Brad Friedel and Aston Villa continue to make a genuine push for a Champions League spot, getting three points from what we in the U.S. would call a “trap” game against Stoke. Having achieved impressive road wins over Manchester United and Sunderland in the past week, Villa did not let down its guard against mid-table Stoke on Saturday, grinding out a 1-0 win on John Carew’s 60th-minute header from a great cross by Ashley Young.

The Villans have won four in a row and have been beaten just once in their last 12 games. They remain tied for third with Arsenal, which rolled over Hull 3-0 on Saturday. Jozy Altidore did not dress for Hull.

Marcus Hahnemann continued to make his case for a spot on the U.S. World Cup roster, and Wolves coach Mick McCarthy was vindicated for his decision to start essentially a second team against Man U last week, as Wolves downed Burnley 2-0 at home. Hahnemann made five saves in the game, and Wolves moved three points clear of relegation in a very crowded bottom half of the table, where only five points separate 12th place from 20th.

Tim Howard went the full 90 in Everton’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham.

Jonathan Spector sat the bench (again) as West Ham drew first-place Chelsea 1-1. Both goals were scored from the spot, with Chelsea’s Frank Lampard having to take his kick three times due to encroachment.

In the Championship, Jay DeMerit got another start for Watford, but his team fell 2-1 to Peterborough United, and Frank Simek came off the bench for a 36-minute appearance in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Swansea City.

In Scotland, DaMarcus Beasley continued to demonstrate his resolve to be on the U.S. charter flight to South Africa next June, scoring a goal and setting up another as Rangers trounced Motherwell 6-1. Here are some more grainy, pixillated highlights from the Highlands (or rather, east of Glasgow):

Yanks of note in the Bundesliga, Michael Bradley and Steve Cherundolo, both started and played 90 minutes and both suffered 3-2 losses. Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach fell to Bayer Leverkusen, while Cherundolo and Hannover 96 lost to Vfl Bochum. Loss aside, Cherundolo, with his regular PT, is probably nosing ahead of Spector for the U.S. right back spot right now, as Spector hasn’t seen the field in a couple of weeks now.

DaMarcus Beasley Will Not Be Stopped

Rangers boss Walter Smith continued to play the hot hand yesterday, starting Amerk winger DaMarcus Beasley for the third consecutive game, and getting rewarded yet again as Beas struck for a goal and assisted on another in Rangers’ 3-0 pasting of Dundee United.

Here is the goal, and you can tell it’s a great strike even in this Zapruder-like footage: