FRISCO, Texas (WANE) – Fort Wayne sports icon DaMarcus Beasley took his place among the best players in U.S. soccer history on Saturday in Frisco, Texas as the Summit City native was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
Beasley, who was selected in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot, was joined in the 2023 induction class by Landon Donovan, Lauren Cheney Holiday, Jill Ellis, Kate Sobrero Markgraf, and Slavisa “Steve” Zungul. Former U.S. Women’s National Team goalie Hope Solo was also inducted on Saturday, having delayed her induction one year after being selected in 2022.
Beasley was born in Fort Wayne in May 1982 to Joetta and Henry Beasley, and began playing the game in his backyard with his older brother, Jamar. After playing his freshman and sophomore seasons at South Side High School, Beasley opted to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
In March 1999, two months before his 17th birthday, Beasley signed with Major League Soccer (MLS) and was assigned to the L.A. Galaxy. His star continued to rise in November of that year, as Beasley won the Silver Ball as the tournament’s second best player at the U-17 World Cup in New Zealand. It was then and there that Beasley and teammate Landon Donovan, who won the Golden Ball, were tabbed as the future of U.S. soccer.
Beasley had yet to appear in an MLS game, and in February 2000 he was traded by the L.A. Galaxy to the Chicago Fire, a move welcomed by the Beasley family as their teenage son now returned to the Midwest.
A midfielder, Beasley began to blossom with the Fire, scoring 14 goals in 98 games over four and a half seasons while being named to the league’s Best XI in 2003.
While his game was growing familiar to MLS fans in Chicago, Beasley was becoming a name to know on the U.S. National Team scene. He received his first cap in January 2001 against China, and was named to the U.S. World Cup roster for the 2002 squad at the age of 20. He would go on to play in four World Cups (2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014), becoming the first player in U.S. history to do so.
In July 2004, Beasley headed overseas, signing with Dutch powerhouse PSV Eindhoven. During his tenure with PSV, Beasley became the first American to play in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Beasley joined the English Premier League squad Manchester City on a season-long loan in fall 2006, scoring three goals in 18 games while dealing with injury issues.
In June 2007, Beasley was on the move again, signing with the Rangers F.C. of the Scottish Premier League. After an injury-plagued stint in Scotland, Beasley signed with German Bundesliga Club Hannover 96 in fall 2010, playing four games with the club.
In summer 2011, Beasley signed to play for Puebla of the Mexican Primera Division, where he revitalized his career. He played in 92 games for Puebla, scoring 12 goals during his stint with the club.
Beasley returned state-side in 2014, signing with the Houston Dynamo of MLS and continued to make the transition from left winger to left back. Beasley would play for Houston until retiring from the game in 2019, playing in 124 games while scoring three goals for the Dynamo. Between stints with Chicago and Houston, Beasley was named to the MLS All-Star Game five times in his 11 seasons.
All told, Beasley earned 126 international caps for the U.S. National Team, seventh-most in history. His 17 goals for the USMNT tie him for 10th all-time. He’s also a five-time CONCACAF Gold Cup champion, winning the Golden Boot in 2005.