Steven Beitashour: blocker and showstopper
Right back Steven Beitashour did a spot-on Chris Wondolowski impression when he scored his first MLS goal since 2010 in a 2-2 draw with F.C. Dallas on Aug. 24.
Beita’s Big Finish, coming on one of the club’s classiest build-ups this season, was nominated for MLS Goal of the Week.
Now, with the California Clasico against the Los Angeles Galaxy set for Saturday at the StubHub Center in Carson, the Earthquakes could use some more Beita Blockers in the back and another Beita Showstopper up front.
Beitashour, in his fourth MLS season, has been razor sharp, with two assists and a goal in the past four MLS games.
Moreover, the 26-year-old San Jose native, who says he is fully recovered from a sports hernia that required two offseason surgeries, should be fresh for the Clasico. He sat out a 1-0 loss against Guatemalan side Heredia on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Beitashour believes the team’s recent strong MLS play is the run players have been expecting all along, even if the draw against FC Dallas was a bitter result.
“It’s definitely frustrating. We’re up 2-0 on the road,” Beitashour said after the match. “We have to be smart and pack it in a little bit.”
After Alan Gordon gave the Quakes a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute of a first-rate square ball from Cordell Cato, Beitashour struck in the 16th minute with the second goal of his career.
After he received a pass from Sam Cronin on the right, Beitashour raced forward and fed Alan Gordon, who had his back to the goal at the top of the penalty area. Gordon held possession before passing back to Rafael Baca, who found Beitashour making a run through the middle of the box. Beitashour softly volleyed past keeper Raul Fernandez into the corner, barely rattling the net.
“Gordo (Alan Gordon) did a good job holding up the ball and playing to Rafa,” Beitashour said after the game. “Rafa played a great ball in and I finished it off. I thought (the keeper) was going to be a little further out, so I didn’t want to bring it down and have him knock it away. … I was fortunate.”
In a 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 18, Beitashour assisted Wondolowski with another beauty -- a first-time volley from the right wing. Beitashour said the ball just bounced up “perfectly” for him and he called off his teammates.
Wondolowski did the rest.
“Wondo just … Now you see him, now you don’t,” Beitashour said in amazement. “I call him ‘The Magician.’ He’s just in the right place, right time and he finishes it. It was a great finish on his part -- just happy to get the win.”
The Quakes could use some more magic on Saturday in Carson.
-- Richter Media