Whitecaps FC right back Steven Beitashour named to Iran’s final roster for World Cup

‘Caps defender named to 23-man squad headed to Brazil

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC confirmed today that right back Steven Beitashour has been named to Iran’s final 23-man roster for the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.Beitashour, 27, has earned six caps with Iran since making his debut in October 2013. The dual American-Iranian citizen recently took part in Iran’s pre-World Cup camp in Austria, where he appeared in matches against Montenegro and Angola.

At the club level, Beitashour has started 96 of his 97 MLS regular season appearances since joining the league in 2010 as a member of San Jose Earthquakes. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound defender, who played 90 minutes against English Premier League side Chelsea in the 2012 MLS All-Star Game, has recorded two goals and 18 assists in MLS regular season action.

Beitashour’s 18 assists since 2011 are more than any other MLS defender. Also of note, Beitashour had a career-high seven assists in 2011 – no out-and-out defender has recorded more assists in a single season since 2006.

The San Jose, California-born defender joined Whitecaps FC at the start of the 2014 season and has started their first 10 MLS matches, picking up a pair of assists, before departing for Iran’s pre-World Cup camp in May. Beitashour is one of eight Whitecaps FC players nominated for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game.

Iran, who occupy the 37th spot in FIFA’s latest world rankings, will compete in Group F at the World Cup, which is slated to begin on June 12. Team Melli open the competition on June 16 against 44th-ranked Nigeria, before meeting seventh-ranked Argentina on June 21, and 25th-ranked Bosnia on June 25.

This will be Iran’s fourth appearance at a World Cup. In 2006, Iran’s most recent appearance, the Middle Eastern side posted a 0W-2L-1D record in Germany. Iran’s other World Cup appearances include 1998 in France where they recorded their first win in the tournament and finished with a record of 1W-2L-0D and 1978 in Argentina where they went 0W-2L-1D.

Iran’s final tune-up game before the World Cup will take place on June 8 in Sao Paulo, Brazil against Trinidad and Tobago, which features Whitecaps FC centre back Carlyle Mitchell.