For this year at least, the DaMarcus Beasley pursuit is over.

"I don't think any team can get him this year," said Real Salt Lake coach John Ellinger following Wednesday's training.

Earlier this month RSL was actively pursuing Beasley, and was optimistic that it could sign him before the FIFA summer transfer window closed at the end of August. With that deadline fast approaching, Ellinger is resigned to the fact he'll have to wait until 2007 to try and nab the U.S. National Team midfielder.

"We'd love to have DaMarcus here, but I've got to believe there are 11 teams that would love to have DaMarcus, too," said Ellinger. "We definitely tried to pursue him. It was just too tight of a window and the league wasn't willing to go forward at this juncture."

The fact that Beasley expressed interest in returning to the MLS, yet the league didn't act with much urgency, is concerning to Ellinger.

"If there's a window, a player wants to come back and we're not able to secure the deal, I sometimes wonder what kind of message we send to that player," said Ellinger. Assuming Beasley still wants to return to MLS in this window, perhaps the league can work out a deal to bring him back. By then, however, Beasley may be on top of his game at PSV Eindhoven in Holland and maybe he won't want to come back.

A LITTLE MORE REST: Eight MLS teams were in action Wednesday night for the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals, but RSL was not among them.

As far as coach Ellinger is concerned, it's no big deal. "I think the rest is more important," he said.

For the players, they would've just as soon had a game Wednesday night, even though the Open Cup clogs the schedule. The players admit that the prospect of winning a trophy is very enticing.

Midfielder Carey Talley said it's the one domestic trophy that's eluded him in his career, and he said losing in the U.S. Open Cup championship match last year as a member of FC Dallas still stings.

While the players would've preferred playing, if the extra rest helps them win their fifth straight league game this Saturday at New York, they probably won't mind.

EXCUSED ABSENCE: RSL 17-year-old defender Nikolas Besagno won't be accompanying his teammates to New York for this weekend's game against the Red Bulls. Instead, Besagno has been invited by U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team coach Thomas Rongen to participate in the Four Nations Tournament in South Korea.

Besagno is one of eight MLS players on the 18-man roster, which heads to South Korea on Friday. The under-20 tournament is a round-robin format, and the U.S. will be play the hosts on Tuesday, Aug. 29, Slovakia on Thursday, Aug. 31 and then Argentina on Saturday, Sept. 2.

The seven other MLS players invited are: Dallas' Dax McCarty and Blake Wagner, New York's Josmer Altidore and David Arvizu, Chivas' Carlos Borja, New England's Miguel Gonzalez and Columbus' Tim Ward.


E-mail: jedward@desnews.com