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Get to know LAFC defender Steven Beitashour

After winning the Treble in Toronto, the defender brings veteran experience to LA.

Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls Photo by Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

Getting ready for the 2018 Los Angeles Football Club season? Yeah, we are too. We’re gearing up for the expansion team’s campaign with a look at each of the players who have been officially added for the season. Today we look at defender Steven Beitashour.


Age: 31

How LAFC acquired him: Signed as a free agent on Jan. 24, 2018.

Position(s): Right back, right wingback

Previous pro playing experience:

Toronto FC (2016-17)

  • 51 MLS regular season matches (46 starts, six assists)
  • 11 MLS Postseason matches (11 starts, two assists)
  • 6 Canadian Championship matches (5 starts)
  • Titles: 2017 MLS Cup, 2017 Supporters’ Shield, 2016 & 2017 Canadian Championship

Vancouver Whitecaps (2014-15)

  • 54 MLS regular season matches (54 starts, eight assists)
  • Two MLS Postseason matches (two starts)
  • Two Canadian Championship matches (two starts)
  • Titles: 2015 Canadian Championship

San Jose Earthquakes (2010-2013)

  • 87 MLS regular season matches (86 starts, two goals, 16 assists)
  • Two MLS Postseason matches (two starts)
  • 3 U.S. Open Cup appearances (two starts)
  • 1 CONCACAF Champions League appearance
  • Titles: 2012 MLS All-Star, 2012 Supporters’ Shield

International:

  • Iranian National Team: Six Appearances
  • Was on the roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Scouting report:

In his two years with Toronto, Beitashour did everything coach Greg Vanney asked of him, and then some. The fan-favorite right back fit perfectly into the calm, organized defensive system TFC employed in 2017. He has enough pace to play at wingback as well as fullback, which he did for much of the last season. Beitashour banked four assists in 2017, more than any other Toronto defender (and joint-sixth among his MLS peers). He was always a little more conservative than his fellow TFC wingback, Justin Morrow, but he’s still perfectly capable of moving the ball forward and putting a cross into the box. ~ Charlie O’Connor-Clarke, Waking the Red

How will he feature for LAFC in 2018?

Beitashour brings some valuable veteran experience to LAFC, having not only experience on the pitch, but experience winning titles, after helping Toronto FC to Major League Soccer’s first-ever treble. Beitashour was a consistent starter for TFC as a right back in a four-back set, or a right-wingback when Greg Vanney used three defenders. The only other right backs on LAFC’s roster are Omar Gaber and Tristan Blackmon, and neither player has played a minute in MLS, so Beitashour can be a solid bet for the starting position, regardless of formation that Bob Bradley picks out. Expect Beitashour to be whipping in crosses for Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, as long as he stays healthy.

Video

Here is a video from “cjs jersey“ on Youtube, who put together some highlights from Beitashour in 2017.

Fun facts

  • Beitashour is Iranian-American (he’s a California native) and actually received a call-up from then USMNT-boss Jurgen Klinsmann in 2012 for a friendly against Mexico. Following that, he decided to play for Iran.
  • Beitashour supported the San Jose Earthquakes as a ball boy when he was young, and would be drafted by the Quakes out of college.
  • Last season, he suffered a freak injury, when an on-field collision with Montreal Impact defender Kyle Fisher led to a lacerated pancreas. Beitashour had emergency surgery was hospitalized, and while he admitted afterwards that his career had been in jeopardy, he made a remarkable recovery and was back on the field before the season ended to clinch the treble.

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