San Diego, California - Former San Diego State men’s soccer standout Steven Beitashour (San Jose, California) was named to Iran’s final 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the team announced on Sunday.
Beitashour, currently a standout defender for the Vancouver Whitecaps of the MLS, is the fifth former Aztec to make a World Cup roster, and the first since 1998. He was a four-year starter at SDSU before being drafted by the San Jose Earthquakes in 2010, as he’s started in 96 of his 97 regular-season appearances since being drafted and made the MLS All-Star team in 2012.
At the professional level, Beitashour has recorded two goals and 18 assists in MLS regular-season action, and his 18 assists since 2011 are more than any other MLS defender. His career-high seven assists in 2011 are the most in a single season by an MLS out-and-out defender since 2006.
The dual American-Iranian citizen recently competed in Iran’s pre-World Cup camp in Austria, appearing in matches against Montenegro and Angola. Beitashour, 27, has earned six caps with Iran since making his debut in October 2013, and departed for Iran’s pre-World Cup camp in May after starting the first 10 matches of the season for the Whitecaps.
Iran is currently 37th in FIFA’s latest world rankings, and will compete in Group F during the World Cup with its first match set for June 16 against 44th-ranked Nigeria. The Iranians are then scheduled to face seventh-ranked Argentina on June 21 and 25th-ranked Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 25.
This summer will be Iran’s fourth all-time appearance in the World Cup, after most recently competing in 2006. Iran recorded its first-ever World Cup victory in 1998 against France, and also qualified in 1978. Iran will have one final match before the start of World Cup play against Trinidad and Tobago on June 8 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.