Five on the fringe 

December, 23, 2009

What a difference a day makes. Or a week.

Some readers who've seen The Magazine's feature on Americans abroad -- featuring DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu -- may note that in Beasley's case, it's a little dated already. That's because when we closed the issue on Dec. 11, Beasley had just begun playing again for Rangers. As our story points out, he was starting to flash signs of his old form, but the Yank also had been yanked at halftime of Rangers' final Champions League match in Sevilla on Dec. 9. In a phone interview the week before that, Beasley expressed real doubt about how much he'd see the field again in Glasgow and spoke openly about finding somewhere -- anywhere -- to go in January for a chance to play and prove himself worthy of a spot on the U.S. national team.

The day after The Mag story went to press, everything changed. Beasley started running rampant around the Scottish Premier League, setting up a goal Dec. 12 against St. Johnstone. He followed up with a wonder strike three days later to lead a win over a tough Dundee United squad. Then he capped the week by scoring another goal and having a hand in three others in a 6-1 rout of Motherwell on Saturday.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.