Whitecaps confirm Beitashour deal, sign Ballouchy

Steven Beitashour

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Just a day into preseason training, the Vancouver Whitecaps have added two key pieces to their squad for the Major League Soccer season.

The Whitecaps confirmed on Monday that they have acquired right back Steven Beitashour from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money, and signed him to a new contract. In addition the Whitecaps announced that they have come to terms with midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy after selecting him in the second phase of the MLS Re-Entry Draft.

Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Beitashour comes in as a ready-made replacement for recently retired Lee Young-Pyo, though the Whitecaps could be without him for a chunk of the summer if he makes the Iranian World Cup squad. Beitashour chose to pledge his international future with his parents nation after finding himself far down the U.S. Men’s National Team depth chart.

“Steven is arguably the best right back in the league,” Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson said in a statement. “He is fantastic on the defensive side of the ball and his ability to join the attack will make him a great addition to our club.”

The 30-year-old Ballouchy previously played with Robinson while with the New York Red Bulls. Entering his ninth MLS season, Ballouchy has made 185 regular season appearances for four clubs, scoring 13 goals and adding 25 assists.

“We are excited to welcome Mehdi to Vancouver,” Robinson said in a statement. “Having had the opportunity to work with Mehdi in New York, I am very familiar with the type player he is on the field and professional he is off the field. Mehdi will be a great addition to our club.”

Ballouchy has unfortunately missed much of the last two seasons recovering from back to back surgeries on a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He’s currently rehabbing the injury and there’s currently no timetable for a return.

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What do you think of this news? Like the signings? Do you see Beitashour stepping into the starting lineup? Do you expect Ballouchy to play major minutes when he returns from injury?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to Whitecaps confirm Beitashour deal, sign Ballouchy

  1. Harry the Dog says:

    The Earthquakes are in trouble. Trading away multiple players, no major ambitions in replacing them with anything other that other team’s castoffs. Meanwhile, they keep creating distractions like the “rebranding” smoke and mirrors. The days of Johnnie Moore are long gone. :(

    • Rob says:

      I agree it is looking really bad so far but I am going to hold off judgment until I see if they actually do anything with all the money they appear to be saving. Are we the Oakland A’s of MLS now??? Oakland is competitive year in and year out but they have not won any hardware in over 20 years… Trading to a west coast rival just plain sucks too…

      Beita was class on and off the field. Good luck Steven!

      • unbeknownst says:

        The A’s have won six West Division regular season titles in the last 20 years. They might not of won the Wold Series in that time, but it’s hard to compare MLS to MLB when it comes to hardware. The Earthquakes will be eligible to win at least four trophies heading into the season.

        Are AL/NL Pennants or Division titles hardware in Baseball? Or is it only the WS?

        • Rob says:

          I hear ya – I was looking only at WS Titles vs MLS Cups but your point is valid. I purposely made no mention of the Quakes Supporters Shield trophy for that reason. I am cautiously optimistic that the Quakes still have more moves to make… just not happy about losing a young, local kid who is rated as one of MLS best defenders.

    • ex_sweeper says:

      By the end of 2013, Beitashour had recovered his speed and foot skills after his multiple hernia surgeries but not the lethal crossing that made him one of the assist leaders the previous year. Wondo was starved for good service, and it showed in his numbers. I’m sure Beita will be back to top form this year, and it’s a real shame the team didn’t match VWFC’s offer. But the Quakes have 4 other high-priced defenders in Bernardez, Goodson, Hernandez, and Jordan Stewart. That’s too much of the salary cap going to the back line. Whether you agree with those high salaries or not, they are in effect, and the Quakes can’t just renege on their contracts.

      • Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

        Gah! Sad day for San Jose. Beita was a high quality back. Losing him AND Morrow sucks.

        I wish they’d dump Hernandez. Seems like a stand up guy but the dude is making 200k and he’s swiss cheese in the middle.

        Soooo, Barklage – Goodson – Bernardez – Stewart?
        That’s serviceable I suppose. :(

        • frank from santiago says:

          Marcelo Balboa’s Mustache ….+1 specially the part about hernandez. he’s been hanging on for the past 2-3 yrs i don’t know how.

  2. Mark says:

    Whenever the Red Bulls played in Canada, Ballouchy wasn’t able to go due to visas problems. Assuming those are all resolved if he’s now signing for a Canadian team? I was never a huge fan, though at the right price and assuming he can play after the knee issues, he can be a nice sub off the bench if you need someone to help offensively.

    • Zach S says:

      I was thinking about that too. Would like to hear how this issue got resolved.

    • Joe+G says:

      Here’s what the issue was:

      Ballouchy has visa issues that don’t allow him to leave the country as he awaits his green card from the U.S. government.

      He received his Green Card in 2013, so he should be fine.