Nicknamed ‘Jitterbug' for his deft tricks and jinking moves with the ball at his feet, DaMarcus Beasley possesses bags of pace and is one of the United States' European-based trailblazers. He is currently with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers, where he occupies the left flank of midfield. However, his emergence on the American soccer scene began way back in 2000, when he lined up for Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer after shining for the USA's U-17 national team at the junior FIFA World Cup in New Zealand in the summer. He picked up the adidas silver ball in the USA's run to the semi-finals, widely recognised as the competition's best player behind only his teammate, then and now, Landon Donovan.
Beasley caught fire in Chicago straight away, excelling with his blistering pace and ability to score and create goals. His panache was on display for all to see, and with his international status rising through appearances with the US national team, he was lured to Dutch heavyweights PSV Eindhoven by then coach Guus Hiddink in 2004. His first season in the Lowlands was an unqualified success as he scored freely and helped the side to a domestic title, while also becoming the first American to line up in the semi-final stages of the UEFA Champions League.
After contending with a serious knee injury, Beasley was sent off on a loan move to English side Manchester City in 2006, where he made 22 appearances before heading back to PSV, and eventually moving on to Rangers in the Scottish Premier League later that year. He became the second US player - after Claudio Reyna - to pull on the famous blue kit.
While his club fortunes have been decidedly up and down, Beasley has been a consistent performer in a USA jersey since his heroics as a young teen in New Zealand in 1999. His first cap for the senior side came in 2001, and, though still 27, he is fast approaching his full century of appearances, scoring 17 goals and roving the left side of the pitch with constant intent. His shining moment came at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™ where he ran riot, catching the eye of PSV coach Hiddink and the rest of the watching world, in the Americans' run to the quarter-finals.
Beasley was also a member of the US side that went out in the first round at Germany 2006 and has won the CONCACAF Gold Cup with the US on three occasions (2002, 2005 and 2007). Current coach Bob Bradley has such faith in the jet-heeled player that he has even called on him to line up at left-back in select South Africa 2010 qualifying games. Beasley will, however, be hoping to put a disappointing personal performance at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup – where the US went to the final – behind him and reach the high notes again at South Africa 2010.