Summer transfer moves and the end of World Cup cycles often mean big changes for U.S. national team players. Deciding to swipe left or right on Tinder probably isn’t the one DaMarcus Beasley had in mind.
A few days ago, we shared a video of some guy walking around in a full Robert Lewandowski uniform trying to pick up women off the player’s name. I wondered what the results meant for dating prospects the famous, the supposedly famous, or soccer players in general. The Lewandowski impostor — thanks to selective editing — was pretty successful (if rolling up to random women on the street is your approach). But apparently, being the real DaMarcus Beasley doesn’t get you as much love as maybe, kinda sorta looking like Lewandowski, because Run DMB is down to his last resort. He’s going to try online dating. Pray for him.
This saddens me. In my eyes, DaMarcus Beasley is an American hero. How many people do you know have captained their national team AND have their own jewelry line? None! The answer is none.
If DaMarcus can’t lead a prosperous single life based solely off his Wikipedia credentials, what does it say about soccer in America? We all like to think that game has “made it” — whatever that means — but if the only American to play in four World Cups is eating fries alone at Applebee’s on a Friday night, has it really?
Are we at fault? Many foreign players have come to MLS and pointed out our lack of a tabloid culture when it comes to soccer players is refreshing. Something they appreciate as they can go about their lives in relative anonymity. Obviously, that’s coded language. Anytime someone says “go about their lives” or “live their lives”, they’re making veiled references to sex. We all know and understand this.
Maybe, as fans, we’ve done our players a disservice. Given the evidence, should we be push harder for American players to go to Europe? If DaMarcus Beasley had stuck it out at Rangers, could he have advanced to Manchester United one day and had much better dating prospects? Has Jurgen Klinsmann been right all along? He’s been all over the news, proclaiming that prominent American players have fallen out of form since returning to MLS. He’s specifically cited Dempsey and Bradley, but is DaMarcus Beasley the best example. Stats suggest that Beasley was much more successful in both chances created and scoring while in Scotland and Mexico.
Lewandowski is Polish, but once his talent outgrew his domestic league, he left and became a star in the infallible German Bundesliga. Now look at him. He’s so good at soccer that bad impostors of him are off in YouTube videos prospering at the start of cuffing season. Meanwhile, DaMarcus is in Houston, out of the playoffs, without a coach, and wondering which outfit sends the right message for his eHarmony.com profile photo. This one?
I don’t want to point the finger at Don Garber or Sunil Gulati, who have lead both MLS and U.S. Soccer to unprecedented growth commercially and athletically, but what have they done for players’ personal lives? Is the American developmental system putting our country’s best talent in the position to shine socially? Beasley is also one of the more prominent alumni of the old IMG Academy. An argument can be made that his romantic development has been hampered since his teenage years. I can’t find it right now, but there is data to suggest that Bayern Munich’s academy is producing talent with triple the Instagram direct message totals of American players, and at much younger ages.
Now that Jurgen Klinsmann has spoken out against the ills of national team players staying in or returning to MLS, the unfortunate position a one-time great like DaMarcus Beasley finds himself in should serve as a cautionary tale. Hopefully increased awareness of his plight will help lead us to the promised land of soccer in America. One that will see the American talent pool reach its full potential. One that doesn’t involve thawing out another DiGiorno pizza. I still believe that you will win, DaMarcus.