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LAFC’s Steven Beitashour called up to Iran’s 2018 World Cup provisional roster

Defender only MLS member to get spot.

New York City FC v Los Angeles FC
Steven Beitashour #3 of Los Angeles FC controls the ball during the first half against New York City FC at Banc of California Stadium on May 13, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. The game ended 2-2.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

For the first time since 2014, Los Angeles Football Club defender Steven Beitashour has been called up by the Iranian National Team in preparation for the 2018 World Cup.

The American-born and University of San Diego defender was last called up for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

He notched an assist in Iran’s 3-0 win over Thailand in Asian Cup qualifications in 2013 and was on the bench for the national team’s three group matches in Brazil.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Vancouver Whitecaps Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Iran lost twice – 1-0 to Argentina and 3-1 to Bosnia-Herzegovina – and drew 0-0 with Nigeria in Group F at the World Cup.

In Russia, Iran has been drawn into a group with Morocco, Spain and Portugal – arguably the toughest group in the tournament.

In another twist, Iran also called up Masoud Shojaei and Ehsah Haji Safi – both players who were initially banned for life after playing for Panionios against an Israeli team. For Shojaei, it will be his third World Cup appearance.

Iran became the first team to stamp their trip to Russia from the Asian Football Confederation.

They will open play June 15 against Morocco, then June 20 against Spain and close out group play June 25 against Portugal.

It’s important to note that Beitashour is currently on the 35-man provisional roster. Carlos Queiroz will have to whittle this group down to 23 players for the tournament proper.

Iranian National Team

  • Goalkeepers: Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Seyed Hossein Hosseini (Esteghlal), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo/POR)
  • Defenders: Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende/BEL), Voria Ghafouri (Esteghlal), Steven Beitashour (Los Angeles FC/USA), Seyed Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Alsaad/QAT), Mohammad Ansari (Persepolis), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Seyed Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny/RUS), Omid Nourafkan (Esteghlal), Saeid AGhaei (Sepahan), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal)
  • Midfielders: Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm/RUS), Masoud Shojaei (AEK Athens/GRE), Ahmad Abdolahzadeh (Foolad), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds/SWE), Mahdi Torabi (Saipa), Ashkan Dejagah (Notthingham Forest/ENG), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (Olympiacos/GRE), Ali Karimi (Sepahan), Soroush Rafiei (Al-khor/QAT), Ali Gholizadeh (Saipa), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis)
  • Forwards: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ Alkmaar/NED), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiacos/RE), Mahdi Taremi (Al-Gharafa/QAT), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan/RUS), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen/NED), Kaveh Rezaei (Charleroi/BEL)

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