MEXICO CITY - After nearly a year in Mexico, American international DaMarcus Beasley is singing the praises of the level of play in the Liga MX, and encouraging fellow Americans to try out the game south of the border.
The veteran winger came to Puebla on a free pass after seeing his club playing time in Europe decrease by the season, and has reinvigorated his career in Mexican highlands.
“At first I didn’t know too much about playing in Mexico,” Beasley admitted in a Goal.com exclusive before last week’s friendly at El Azteca, “only about playing in Mexico against Mexico. But the decision, it was an easy one. I went to Pachuca and trained there for a week, so I got a feel of the style of play and the country a little bit. Then Puebla called and I decided to go there.”
After three seasons at Rangers and one at Hannover in the German Bundesliga, during which he rarely saw the field, Beasley has been a hit for Puebla, becoming a regular starter and scoring seven goals in just over a year of action.
But Beasley says that the soccer is not the only good fit for him at Puebla. He is happy living in Mexico, and plans on sticking around.
“I enjoy it,” he said. “I like living here. I think my career has started to get back on track for myself. And I could see myself in Mexico for a long time.”
One factor that probably benefits the long-time American international and three-time World Cup veteran is his treatment of the somewhat infamous Mexican media. Even while his level of Spanish continues to improve, Beasley says he doesn’t pay much heed to the things that might come out in the press.
“I don’t really read any of the comments or listen to what’s being said,” Beasley said. “But as far as I know everything’s fine. I don’t feel like the media or anyone treats me any different [than other foreign players].”
Another side to Beasley’s laid-back stance is taking the high road vis a vis the constantly evolving situation at his club. Puebla has been through some hard times over the past year, including troubles with tax authorities that saw its stadium closed down for a spell, and rumored problems paying players on time.
None of that seems to have fazed Beasley, who stuck around in Puebla this summer despite rumors he would be headed elsewhere during the draft. If the American has one complaint about Mexican soccer, though, it’s the constant merry-go-round of player movement over which the players themselves have little control.
“That’s the difficult part that I didn’t know about when I came down here,” he said. “You’ve got a draft and people move constantly. You look at people’s resumes and they’ve played for almost every team. It’s not that they’re a bad player. It’s just that that’s how the system works.”
In fact, Beasley cites the constant movement at Puebla as the main obstacle to success for a club that has started out the 2012 Apertura by losing four of five, and made a change at manager this week.
Puebla is even staring at an uncomfortable situation in the relegation battle for the 2012-13 campaign. Third to bottom of the percentage table, La Franja would be in even bigger trouble were it not for the struggles of Atlas and Queretaro.
That’s why Beasley would like to see a little consistency at his club, as he plans his long term future at Puebla: “You look at a team like Leon that’s doing well this year, and they’ve been playing together for two or three years. It depends on the owner and how he sees the team. Just in my case, we’ve traded 24 players in two years.”