Hoosier native Beasley retires from US national soccer team

CHICAGO (AP) — DaMarcus Beasley, the first American to play in four World Cups, said Monday he is retiring from the U.S. national team after 14 years.

The 32-year-old scored 17 goals and made 121 international appearances — fifth on the U.S. career list. He played in every minute of the Americans’ four games at this year’s World Cup, where the U.S. lost to Belgium in the second round. After playing midfield at the World Cup in 2002, ’06 and ’10, Beasley was shifted to left back for this year’s tournament.

“Honestly I never thought this day would come, representing my country has been the greatest thing I’ve done in my career,” Beasley said in a statement posted on Instagram.

“To all my coaches and teammates, I just want to say thank you, thank you for making me the player I am and the man I will be in the future,” Beasley wrote.

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, started his professional career with the Chicago Fire from 2000-04, winning a pair of U.S. Open Cups, and played abroad for PSV Eindhoven, Manchester City, Glasgow Rangers, Hannover and Puebla. He returned to MLS in July with Houston and will continue his club career with the Dynamo.

He made 22 Champions League appearances and became the first American to score for two teams in Europe’s top club competition, for Eindhoven and Rangers. He is the only U.S. player to appear in a Champions League semifinal and won two league titles in the Netherlands and two in Scotland.

Beasley earned the Silver Ball at the 1999 FIFA Under-17 Championship, where the Americans finished fourth and Landon Donovan won the Golden Ball. Beasley was selected the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Young Male Athlete of the Year in 2001.

He made his national team debut in a February 2001 exhibition against China, played in 11 World Cup matches and appeared his U.S. finale last month in an exhibition against Colombia in London. He helped the U.S. to titles in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean, in 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2013.

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