DaMarcus Beasley, the only U.S. male to play in four World Cups, has told U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann he’s willing to come out of his international retirement to be part of the squad for the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup.
After being approached by Klinsmann to gauge his interest, Beasley has been named to the U.S.’s 35-man preliminary roster, which was released on Wednesday. Beasley says he told Klinsmann that he will accept a call-up to the final Gold Cup roster if Klinsmann wants him.
Beasley, 33, has 121 national team caps and played in every World Cup from 2002 to 2014. He had originally announced his international retirement in December 2014.
Klinsmann said there were three reasons he asked Beasley to consider coming back into the fold:
• On-the-field reasons: Klinsmann still considers Beasley, who now plays for the Houston Dynamo, one of the U.S.’s top left backs.
• Off-the-field reasons: Klinsmann likes the experience and leadership of Beasley, who captained the U.S. to the 2013 Gold Cup title.
• Just win, baby: Klinsmann wants to field the best possible team and win the Gold Cup, as opposed to using it for development purposes.
If the U.S. wins the tournament, it will qualify automatically for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. If the U.S. doesn’t win this Gold Cup, it would have to go to a playoff against this year’s winner to decide who goes to Russia in 2017.
Beasley and Klinsmann “spoke at length, and I took my time to think about it,” Beasley said. “So I am available for the Gold Cup if he wants me to play.” Beasley has started all of the Dynamo's 15 matches this season.
Somewhat surprisingly missing from the U.S.’s 35-man preliminary roster is Minnesota United winger Miguel Ibarra. Other notable omissions include Geoff Cameron and Jermaine Jones, with the latter nursing a recent groin injury. The final Gold Cup roster has to come from the 35-man preliminary list. Teams will be allowed to bring in new players for the knockout rounds, but they have to come from the 35-man list.