BEASLEY BRUSHING OFF KOMAC PREDICTION
While Slovenia's Andrej Komac has created a mild uproar with his prediction of a win on Friday, US midfielder DaMarcus Beasley is opting to stay above the fray and not get drawn into a war of words.
"It just gives us ammunition to go out there and win the game," Beasley told YA. "It really doesn't bother us though. if that's his opinion and if that's what he wants to say, that's fine. We're just trying to go out there and win the game on Friday and advance to the next round."
The veteran winger now in his third World Cup has experienced the ebb and flow of the US national team from the peak of reaching the quarterfinals in 2002 to the valley of crashing out of the group stage in 2006.
However what linked those two previous tournaments together was that the squad stayed in a metropolitan area while training for their matches, a vastly different experience from the secluded Irene Country Lodge where head coach Bob Bradley has the US training for this edition.
For Beasley, not seeing the everyday pulse of the World Cup is a little bit of a disappointment, however the 28 year old knows that the business on the field comes first.
"It's pretty different to be honest," Beasley said comparing this year's experience to previous ones. "The last two World Cups, we were in Seoul and then in Hamburg and in the city and around people. Usually when you're in the country, you're around it. It's been a little bit different being outside of the soccer. You don't see the people, you don't feel the World Cup, but at the same time, we're here to do a job and all that other stuff can wait. So we're focused on what we need to do and I think Bob has got it right."
The native of Fort Wayne, Indiana went on to explain how the current US boss differs from previous US national team coaches.
"Bob wants to change things... Every coach is different in what he wants to do and how he wants to prepare his team to play," he added. "That's something that some of the guys who have been around just aren't used to, but in the end it really doesn't matter if you're in a city or secluded area, we just want to focus on soccer."
Prior to leaving for South Africa, rumors swirled that his former club of PSV Eindhoven and French giants Paris St. Germain were interested in his services.
What might be a distraction to other players will not be the case for Beasley who has put all plans on hold in regards to his club future so he can focus on the US team.
"My club situation will take care of itself," he noted. "I'm not a young kid anymore so I know how to deal with this stuff. My club situation is taking a back seat and that's how I want it. I don't want my agent to tell me who's looking at me and who's putting a bid in for me. I don't want to deal with that right now. After the World Cup I'll have three weeks to figure out what's going to happen and where I'm going to go so I'm not even worried about my club situation."
When pressed as to whether a return to Scottish club Rangers might be in the fold, Beasley does not hesitate in stating that he will not be playing in Glasgow next season.
"There is zero chance of [coming back]," he firmly said.
With no pressure having to deal with club rumors and all his attention focused squarely on helping the US to the next round of the World Cup, Beasley is still able to take a step back and appreciate the fact that he is playing in the first World Cup on the African continent.
As an African-American, he appreciates being able to participate in such a historical event, but also readily points out that it should be special for any player regardless of ethnicity.
"It's special to see Africa have its first big event," Beasley concluded. "That would be true anywhere in Africa. But I think that's the case for any player, not just African-American players, being able to play in the first World Cup in Africa. I think it's something that everyone will remember and whomever wins the tournament it will always be something special for them."
Beasley and the US will square off against Slovenia in Group C action on Friday at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg