I WANT TO PLAY
The last year has not been kind from a soccer perspective for DaMarcus Beasley, yet the midfielder ascertains that when the right playing situation presents itself, his career will be able to span another six to eight years.
The current Rangers man's problems started with a rib injury last April that forced him to the sidelines and resulted in him missing the rest of the Scottish Premier League season.
A new season started in August with hopes of more minutes but playing time has been hard to come by for Beasley who has only featured in four matches thus far for the Light Blues.
This has prompted the inevitable decision that Rangers will be looking to move Beasley during the winter transfer period, something that the Fort Wayne, Indiana native openly welcomes.
"My current situation is not ideal... it's been frustrating," Beasley recently told YA. "I'm looking to move away from Rangers because I want to play. It's not that I'm not happy with the club, it's just that I want to play. I'm only 27 and I feel like I have another six, seven or even eight years left."
There was plenty of talk during the summer transfer period that the Glasgow club would move Beasley but a proper suitor was never found. Now with another window opening up, the winger says he is open to speaking to any club that needs his playmaking and goal-scoring capabilities.
"My options are open," continued Beasley. "It might be a move back to Holland or maybe Spain, but it needs to be the right situation where I get a chance to play and stake my claim to Bob [Bradley] about getting back on the US national team and playing at the World Cup next summer."
Beasley recuperated from his rib injury in time for the US national team's two World Cup qualifiers where Bradley slotted the former PSV Eindhoven man out of his usual midfielding role to a left back position for a June 3rd match versus Costa Rica.
The experiment proved disastrous as the Ticos tallied two early first half goals thus exposing the US' vulnerability on the left defensive flank and also Beasley's lack of game-fitness due him not seeing any playing time at the end of the SPL season.
The scrutiny on the former Chicago Fire star only increased after his error which led to a goal in Brazil's 3-0 thumping of the US in a group stage match at the Confederations Cup this past summer in South Africa. The defensive lapse induced fans and media members to call for the benching of Beasley which ultimately happened in the next match versus Egypt.
For a player who answered the call time and time again for the USMNT in the form of 89 appearances and 17 international goals, one might think that the negative press would weigh heavily, yet for Beasley, the best way to move forward has always been to block out any outside distractions from the public.
"I could really care less that the media or fans criticize me," he noted. "People in the media who criticize the way I play have never played a game of professional soccer in their lives so it really doesn't affect the way I play. I just play my game and to the best of my ability."
The veteran of so many European seasons had a chance to share his experience last season with a compatriot when Rangers signed fellow American Maurice Edu.
The relationship between the two yanks has grown even closer since Edu's arrival in Scotland giving Beasley the chance to help mentor the Californian on playing overseas and making the most of his talent.
"Mo's a good kid," said Beasley of Edu. "He's a nice guy and has the world at his fingertips. He's still young being only 23 so he still has a lot of time to develop and improve."
Unfortunately one aspect of playing overseas that both players have now experienced is suffering racial abuse from different fan bases. In Beasley's case, he was the victim of two separate incidents: One while at PSV in an away match at Red Star Belgrade and the second, during a match at FK Zeta of Montenergo while with Rangers.
Now in the wake of October's incident at Ibrox Stadium where two Rangers fans spewed racially-charged insults at Edu, the subject of racism in European soccer has once again been brought to the forefront which for Beasley, is an issue that cannot be ignored.
"I always do what I can to prevent [racial abuse] from happening," he said. "In Mo's case, for him to get it from his own fans, that was tough to swallow."
When pressed as to whether a player such as himself could make a statement by walking off the field upon hearing any racial taunts during a match, the former Manchester City attacker says a departure from the field in protest is always his initial reaction to the situation when it happens.
"My first thought when I hear any racial taunts is to walk off the field. I just want to pack it up and leave, but sometimes you can't... You gotta stay out there on the field and play for your guys."
One arena that is proving to be much more welcoming for the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Boot winner is his foray into the world of jewelry.
Beasley has recently launched his own collection of jewelry in collaboration with The Diamond Studio in the United Kingdom.
Much like soccer, his fondness for 'bling' is a passion that has parlayed itself into a business venture and the excitement in his voice is noticeable when discussing the fine art of jewelry design.
"I have always loved jewelry and this idea came about a year and a half ago when Summera from the Diamond Studio custom-made a pinky ring for me. I really liked her work and eventually we talked about doing a collaboration which will be available on my website in the next week."
As much as he is enjoying starting his new line, Beasley still insists that the game of soccer will be a part of his life even after he decides retire.
"I definitely want to be involved with soccer after my playing career is over," he concluded. "But also do things like developing and promoting my own brand."
Until the winter transfer period opens up in January, Beasley will hope build off his impressive second half play in Saturday's win over Falkirk and possibly see some midweek Champions League action versus Sevilla. Rangers currently sit last and have been eliminated from advancing to the knockout stage.