STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Stanford's raucous marching band blaring behind him outside the stadium, DaMarcus Beasley sat in a golf cart hydrating after another long day of World Cup training.
And what a day for the veteran U.S. defender. When seven other American players were cut Thursday, Beasley made the roster for a fourth World Cup.
Coach Jurgen Klinsmann surprised his players with the timing of his announcement. Beasley could become the first American to play in four World Cups. While midfielder Claudio Reyna and goalkeeper Kasey Keller made four rosters, Reyna played in only three tournament and Keller two.
"If you have that will and desire and that confidence in yourself that you belong in this group of players, that's half the battle," Beasley said. "The other half is actually going out and doing it."
He would be in rare company if he plays one of the Americans' first-round games against Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Only about two dozen men's players have seen the field in four or more World Cups.
Beasley, who turns 32 Saturday, has shifted from midfield to left back with the national team and is part of a relatively inexperienced defense. For the first time since 1990, the U.S. heads to the tournament with no center backs with World Cup experience.
"You take the game in a different light. Now that I'm 31, I wish I would have known what I know now when I was 20. It would have made things a lot easier. But, at the same time, that's what you do when you're 20 — 20, you just want to run around and play and you don't care what happens," Beasley said. "Now, you look at the game in a different way. I'm still enjoying the game. For me, just being confident in your ability as well. If you're confident in yourself, no one can teach that. Klinsmann can't teach that, the Bruce Arenas, the Bob Bradleys, no one can teach that confidence that you instill in yourself."
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