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Years ago, when Bob Bradley tried the DaMarcus Beasley-as-a-left-back experiment, it failed miserably. Beasley’s diminutive frame, poor one-on-one defending, weakness in the air and bad positioning made Beasley a liability in the back, and the U.S. kept searching for a solution to its left-back problems.
Fast-forward three years and Beasley has, shockingly, become the answer at left-back for the U.S. Now seemingly fully returned to fitness and form from a devastating knee injury that slowed him down and ended his European career years ago, Beasley is enjoying a renaissance to his career.
After moving to Liga MX two years ago, Beasley has become a regular starter for Puebla and returned to the form that saw him emerge as one of the U.S.’ premier prospects as a teenager over a decade ago.
While Beasley is far from a perfect solution for the U.S., he has proved in recent games against Costa Rica, Mexico, Belgium and Germany that he can help the U.S. His one-on-one defending still needs work, but he has shown a willingness to battle players like Romelu Lukaku, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose, both on the ground and in the air.
Beasley’s positioning is vastly improved, his quickness allows him to recover from some of his mistakes and his ability to go forward has helped the U.S. attack.
With Fabian Johnson an injury question and Edgar Castillo having a shockingly bad game against Germany, Beasley is the answer for the U.S. at left-back.