It's unlikely DaMarcus Beasley can inspire another one-in-a-million soccer player from Fort Wayne, but he's sure he can inspire plenty of kids to have as much fun as he does in the game. Then, he says, anything can happen.
Beasley, 26, is coming home next week to start the Beasley National Soccer School starting Monday and running through Thursday at the Plex. For more information about the camp, call the Fort Wayne Fever at 469-3019.
“I definitely want to give back to some people that raised me in soccer to a national level,” Beasley said. “I want to see kids grow and provide an example as a professional soccer player. I want this to be a fun time in their lives because I want this camp to be about fun.”
Beasley said when he was starting as a player, he looked up to his older brother Jamar, 28, who is playing in the Major Indoor Soccer League with Detroit and may be signing to play this summer with the Fever.
“He really pushed me to try to be better than him,” DaMarcus said. “He doesn't know how much that helped me. He's definitely one of my heroes and always will be.”
Beasley has been pushing himself quite a bit over the past year since he suffered a severe knee injury in November while playing for the Glasgow, Scotland, Rangers. He underwent major surgery in California in December, and then came home to Fort Wayne for six weeks.
Because he now lives in Miami, Beasley said he usually gets home only once a year for a couple of weeks at a time.
His recovery was strong enough that Beasley was able to play in Scotland at the end of the season, and he returned to the United States National Team recently to help the Americans in their quest to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. He's played two matches so far, and will play with the U.S. team Sunday in Barbados.
“You could see the types of runs and quickness that have always been a part of his game come back very, very strong,” U.S. Coach Bob Bradley said on ussoccer.com before last week's 8-0 win over Barbados.
“Again, I think that DaMarcus is one of our most important players. He has the kind of quickness that can open up defenses. He has certainly grown in terms of his ability to intelligently decide when to pass the ball and move, when to take people on.”
This is the first time in his career that Beasley has suffered a major injury. He said he's back to 85 percent of full strength. He'll return to Glasgow July 11, but will fly back for U.S. matches as the World Cup qualifying continues.