Beitashour included in Iran’s pre-World Cup roster

Steve Beitashour Iran

By FRANCO PANIZO

Steve Beitashour said earlier this month that he hopes to be playing in the World Cup this summer, and he has just moved one step closer to accomplishing that.

Beitashour was included in the 30-man preliminary World Cup roster that Iran head coach Carlos Queiroz released on Tuesday. The Vancouver Whitecaps fullback is one of 11 defenders on the squad, and among the few players that do not currently ply their trade in the Middle East.

The 27-year-old defender chose to play for Iran, the birth nation of both his parents, last October. He has since earned four caps with the team and should head into Iran’s camp with plenty of confidence after starting and playing in 10 games in his first season with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Iran has been drawn into Group F at this summer’s World Cup and open the tournament versus Nigeria on June 16. It then battles Argentina on June 21 and wraps up group play against Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 25.

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What do you think are the chances Beitashour makes it to Brazil? Do you see him potentially being a starter for Iran? Impressed with how he has played with the Whitecaps?

Share your thoughts below.

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20 Responses to Beitashour included in Iran’s pre-World Cup roster

  1. Vik says:

    Wish him the best of luck. He’s a good fullback and San Jose has yet to find a reliable replacement for him.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      I was thinking the same. He is at least as good as Yedlin and Evans and I would have welcomed him.

  2. Good Jeremy says:

    Death to America… Except for Steve. Steve is cool.

    I understand that the majority of Persians won’t care, but it’s got to be awkward for him to be born and raised in California and play for a country with such a hostile relationship with the US (I know it goes both ways and I’m not trying to bring politics into this). I imagine this is the German-American “controversy” that a handful of fans have brought up times ten.

    • Ian says:

      It must not be that awkward for him considering he’s played for Iran in the past and surely hopes to play for them this summer.

      I reckon it’d be different for a Korean-American eligible to play for the North, where the whole damn country is just one big human rights violation. Iran has an incompetent government hampered by religious fundies and its economy is hampered by Western sanctions, but Iranian-Americans still rightfully have a sense of loyalty to their country.

      • Gratuitous Stepovers says:

        Yes, and also more than half of the population is under 35 and much more open to Western ideas and culture and many love the US. I’m sure they’re very accepting of Beitashour, and his talent. Certainly more than other Middle Eastern nations.

        • g-dub says:

          Right. This is a good example of how sports can breed good will and break down barriers. I hope he’s able to talk with Iranian media about his dual heritage and humanize Americans. Best of luck to Beta.

    • Ronaldo Messi says:

      The guy looks Iranian, is full blooded Iranian and is a loyal son. It is not his fault that USA law made him US citizen at birth.

    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      You get to be much more open-minded when you know both sides of the story. The politics always get in the way of reality. That’s why it is so much fun to have soccer. You can put the ugly behind and look at the beautiful game.

  3. HoboMike says:

    Wrong Portuguese coach. With 11 defenders on the team, are we sure Mourinho isn’t coaching?

  4. Futbol_Head says:

    I’d say there are much less “Death to America” types in Iran than there are hardcore racists throughout the United States. It would be a mistake to generalize an entire population like the US for what one person (ie. Donald Sterling) said in private. Iran gets a horrible rap from the American media, but not everyone shares the same views as the extremists you hear about on TV.

    Now, back to soccer…

    • Ian says:

      Your first sentence is baseless and obnoxious, but I agree with everything else.

    • Joamiq says:

      Yeah, Iranian people, especially those living near urban areas, are very different from what the average American probably thinks based on media coverage.

    • Roman Lewandowski says:

      Not even bothering to throw out that sort of comment with some sort of concrete facts to support it, huh? Some statistics would be nice. Failing that, you could discuss the many years you spent living in Iran and compare them with your experiences in various segments of American society. Of course, you don’t have those either. You assault the other readers with a baseless extrapolation. What is true of one L.A. billionaire is true of the whole country, no doubt. At least you helpfully directed our attention back to soccer.

      Also, you meant to write “fewer,” not “less.”

  5. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Asia seems to have one more spot than necessary. North Korea was a class below all of the other teams at the last World Cup, and Iran probably has that honor this time. I’d like to see South America (every national team on that continent is formidable) get another spot at the expense of Asia.

    Having said that, I wish the Iranians the best and hope they acquit themselves well.

    • Ronaldo Messi says:

      CONCACAF seems to have two more spots than necessary. And, Iran handily beat the USA in that historic game in 1998. They have better head to head against the USA. So, stop spewing hate and concentrate on the beautiful game.

      • Nandez says:

        Oceania needs an automatic spot.

      • chg says:

        ‘This confederation seems overmatched, but I wish their representatives the best.’

        Reply: “stop spewing hate”

        Uhh……. What? Lighten up, Francis.

  6. Birgit Calhoun says:

    He was a great defender for the Earthquakes. I wish they had kept him, especially now that Gorlitz is out for a while. I wish him the best of luck to get into the final 23. He was once considered for the USMNT. Klinsmann should have given him more of a chance. Anyhow Beita is a really good player.