July 02, 2009

It's been a tough year for DaMarcus Beasley. The fleet-footed winger has found himself frozen out at the club level, with Rangers in Scotland, and a series of dismal showings for the U.S. national team have seen his stock plummet.

The former Chicago Fire player is back home in Indiana for the next three weeks taking a break. "My mind set is to take a vacation [from soccer]," Beasley said to Ft. Wayne, Ind., daily The News-Sentinel.

But it's just a vacation. Beasley is determined to push through the rough patch come time for next season, and is taking the wider view of his career.

"This is probably the toughest year that I've had in my career," Beasley said. "People forget the fact that I've played 89 times for my country [and] I've played in two World Cups. They say at 27 my best years are behind me, but 27 is where I'm hitting my prime. I had a bad year last year and that's it. It's just [going to be] how I rebound from this."

The 5-foot-9 midfielder was most recently with the national team in South Africa as part of a miraculous run to the Confederations Cup final. The U.S. team lost in the final to Brazil, but it was against Brazil earlier in the group stages that Beasley got his only start of the competition. After coughing up the ball cheaply to allow Brazil to counter and score, Beasley was yanked off at halftime.

"The first two games we weren't confident in ourselves," Beasley said. "The boys did great [however]; they played really well in the past three games. After we scored against Egypt, we had life, we had energy. [The critics] didn't have anything good to say about any of us. I guess they forgot that we know how to play soccer. Now they're trying to get back on our bandwagon."

His performances may not have afforded him the attention teammates Clint Dempsey and Oguchi Onyewu have from European clubs, but Beasley is determined to find a club that will play him.

"I just need to play football again," Beasley said. "That's all, I just need to find a team and go play for them."

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