HANOVER, N.J. – At 36 years old, DaMarcus Beasley shows no signs of slowing down, the Houston Dynamo outside back still continuing to contribute and play at a high level, as he has been doing for two decades. In fact, he might just become the Tom Brady of MLS.
And now player colleagues from Beasley’s career are now beginning to pop up consistently on MLS sidelines. Beasley has been around so long that New York Red Bulls head coach Chris Armas remembers playing with the Houston left back when both were in the formative days of their careers.
In fact, Armas remembers Beasley’s debut in MLS, which came in 2000 with the Chicago Fire.
There is no denying that Beasley is the eternal man of MLS, having two stints in the league sandwiching a career abroad that includes time with prominent teams in England, Scotland, Holland and Mexico. He has played 194 career matches in MLS, this stacked alongside 126 appearances with the United States national team. It is a career that ranks among the very best for an American.
And Beasley, with five straight starts and 19 league appearances this year for Houston, shows no signs of slowing down.
“He’s now into his 30s, 36 and he was always built — physically you knew he was going to play a long time. He can run like the wind, early on he was arguably in the history of our country the best two-way player we’ve ever seen. Early on he could be a left back. Nowadays we think of DaMarcus Beasley as a left back,” Armas said. “He was an attacker, that guy he was a winger. You always knew because he could defend – wow, what a left back. We talked about him early on and then we saw a shift from a winger or a center forward. DaMarcus, specifically, it doesn’t surprise me. He takes care of his body, he’s been a pro forever. Understand that Tyler Adams is a player similar to DaMarcus,” Armas said, likening Beasley to Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams before continuing on about his former teammate.
“But Damarcus, physically is not the reason he’s playing so long, the World Cups, the success, overseas, here…it is because he’s intelligent. He’s one of the smartest players you’ll see. He knows how to use his body, he knows with the ball he’s dangerous, the type of balls he gives, the tap-in ball. He’s an incredible soccer player and that’s why he’s played this long and still thrives. It’s impressive.”
The Red Bulls meet the Dynamo on Wednesday night at 8 P.M. at Red Bull Arena.
Nicknamed ‘Run DMB,’ the pacey Beasley came into MLS with the LA Galaxy in 1999 but never featured with the first team, eventually being traded to the Fire the next year and almost instantly becoming a starter. He took this form into the 2002 World Cup where he was a standout player as a winger for a United States side that advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament.
And while Beasley, who turned 36-years old this season, has a long ways to go to become the oldest field player in MLS history, it isn’t impossible to think that he could easily play a few more years.
Preki remains the oldest field player in league history, having played his last game for the then Kansas City Wizards in 2005 at 42 years old. But a good chunk of Preki’s career was spent playing indoors prior to MLS, so he doesn’t have the hard mileage on his legs as say, Beasley.
And Beasley, known for not just his speed and technical ability but also his work rate, has run countless miles throughout a career that took him to big leagues in Europe. This, as he closes in on 200 appearances in MLS. Very few midfielders play this deep into their careers but Beasley remains in impeccable shape.
And like the aforementioned Tom Brady, the New England Patriots starting quarterback who just turned 41 years old, Beasley could well push and be an impact player in MLS until 40-years old and perhaps beyond.
Beasley last played for the United States in 2017.
Armas said that Beasley still is playing at a high level, noting his “1 v. 1 defending” as being at a high level. The Red Bulls head coach doesn’t know if hitting a certain age milestone is something Beasley hopes to achieve in his career but he sees him hitting the 40-year old threshold if he so desires.
“I think if DaMarcus wants to play till he’s 40, he’ll play till he’s 40,” Armas said.
“Again, he takes care of his body, he’s durable, he’s smart, he understands. He’s done it this long as a starter – can he be used sporadically? He can play till he’s 40.”