PHOENIX — U.S. left back DaMarcus Beasley isn’t happy that his Mexican club, Puebla, has refused to release him and teammate Michael Orozco for Wednesday’s U.S.-Mexico friendly.
“We understand the situation with Puebla—we’re in a relegation battle to stay up in La Liga for next season—but at the same time I’ve always been proud to be called into the national team. Was I disappointed? Yeah,” Beasley told SI.com via phone from Puebla on Tuesday morning.
“It’s right before a World Cup when time is running out for players, myself included, so I definitely wanted to be a part of this game,” Beasley continued. “We’ve missed these last two U.S. games, the one in Europe and the one against Mexico, so those are missed opportunities. [U.S.] coaches are watching our [club] games week in and week out, seeing who’s doing well and who isn’t, but this is a live international against our biggest rival in front of 60,000 fans. What more can you ask for?”
The U.S.-Mexico game isn’t taking place on an official friendly date in the FIFA calendar, which means clubs are not required to release their players for the game. However, all MLS teams and most Liga MX clubs have done so. Puebla, which is in a relegation fight, notified U.S. Soccer at the last minute that it would not release Beasley and Orozco, causing U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to criticize the club publicly.
Puebla’s next game is at Atlas on Saturday. Beasley said he would have had no problem playing in Wednesday’s U.S. game and then being ready for another game three days later.
“I’ve been doing that my whole career, flying in and flying out and playing in the league,” he said. “But the coaching staff and president felt that it was better we stay in the team and focus on our game against Atlas.”