DaMarcus Beasley stunned at USA's World Cup enthusiasm
JUN 27, 2014 11:14a ET
United States defender DaMarcus Beasley believes this year's World Cup has stirred an enthusiasm for football in America like never before after Jurgen Klinsmann's side upset the odds and secured a place in the knockout stages.
Despite a 1-0 defeat to Germany on Thursday, the United States squeezed out of Group G on goal difference thanks to a 2-1 win over Ghana and a 2-2 draw with Portugal. They will now face Belgium in the last 16.
The United States' unexpected success in Brazil has seen football fever take hold back home. Klinsmann re-tweeted a 'get out of work letter' for fans to be given time off during the Germany game while president Barack Obama was pictured tuning in while flying on Air Force 1.
"People are going crazy back home," Beasley told FIFA's official website. "And look at these traveling fans. We're outnumbering everyone. People noticed us in 2002, but this is something different now.
"US soccer has grown in big ways. We have depth now that we didn't have before. We like to keep the ball. We have players in Europe and playing at big clubs."
Beasley added: "When I'm done I still want to see US soccer grow more, I want to pass something on."
The Unites States needed a draw to guarantee their progress from the tournament's 'Group of Death' but the defeat proved enough as Portugal failed to make up the goal difference despite their 2-1 win over Ghana.
The Stars and Stripes lost to Germany by the same scoreline in 2002 at the quarterfinal stage, which remains the furthest the United States have gone in a World Cup since the Second World War.
"It was the same score as the last time we played the Germans, but it turned out different for us today," Beasley said. "Now that we're into the knockout rounds it's done. We want to take it to the next level now. You're getting a lot of weird results in this Cup. Anything can happen."