WHIPPANY, N.J. — The ageless DaMarcus Beasley—O.K., he’s 35—joined his U.S. teammates on Monday for the first training session ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, but you could forgive Beasley for his thoughts being elsewhere.
The Houston Dynamo fullback left Houston on Friday before the landfall of Hurricane Harvey—the Dynamo-Sporting Kansas City MLS game had already been canceled—but Beasley was left shaking his head over the unprecedented flooding in his home city.
“Prayers go out to everyone dealing with this terrible thing,” said Beasley, who lives in Pearland, a suburb in the southeastern part of the Houston metro area. “My area isn’t as bad as all the pictures on the news, but it’s still serious and there’s more rain coming the next couple days. So hopefully everyone will be O.K.”
Beasley said his house is built on an incline, but his street and driveway are underwater. As for his Dynamo teammates, he said everyone is accounted for.
“I saw a couple things on social media from the Honduran boys [Boniek García, Alberth Elis and Romell Quioto]. They just got out and went to Dallas to fly out from there to their national teams. They couldn’t get out for a couple days because of the weather.”
Beasley is hoping to make his fifth World Cup team in 2018. U.S. coach Bruce Arena said he has been impressed by Beasley’s longevity at the international level.
“The fact that he’s got that body type has allowed him to play this long,” Arena said. “It’s not like he has to worry about putting on too much weight. Toward the end of his career he has moved to the back line, which certainly helps as well. And he’s a smart player.”
IN OTHER CAMP NEWS
• The U.S. practiced at the New York Red Bulls training facility. The seven players who participated in MLS games on Sunday were set to arrive in camp later on Monday: Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Darlington Nagbe, Cristian Roldan and Chris Wondolowski.
• According to Arena, Omar Gonzalez and Fabian Johnson have recovered from recent injuries and trained at full speed on Monday.
“They’re fine,” the coach said.
• The U.S. knows what to expect on Friday from Costa Rica, whose 4-0 win in San José last November spelled the end of the Jurgen Klinsmann era.
“Their style of play is probably a little bit similar to Honduras in terms of playing with a three- or five-man back line,” Arena said. “They have an outstanding goalkeeper [Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas] playing for the best club team in the world. And [Bryan] Ruiz is an excellent playmaker. They’re a good team in second place in the standings. They started off well with six points in their first two games, which has given them a bit of a cushion.”