SAN JOSE, Calif. – San Jose Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour will join Iran for training camp ahead of their 2015 AFC Asian Cup Qualifier against Thailand on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in Tehran. He will depart for Iran after the club’s match against the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, Oct. 9 and will return after Team Melli’s match against Thailand.
Beitashour, 26, is in his fourth year with the Earthquakes. The former Leland High School (San Jose) standout was a second-round selection (No. 30 overall) by the Earthquakes in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. He has appeared in 84 games during his professional career, recording two goals and 16 assists in the process. He started the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, helping the league to a 3-2 win against Chelsea FC at PPL Park on July 25.
The attack-minded right back has yet to make an international appearance for his native United States or Iran. He participated in United States camps in August of 2012 and January of 2013, but did not make gameday rosters. His parents were born in Iran, opening up the possibility that Beitashour could suit up for Team Melli.
Iran hosts Thailand on Oct. 15 in their third match of 2015 AFC Asian Cup Qualifying. Team Melli beat Lebanon 5-0 and drew 1-1 with Kuwait in their previous two matches. The top two teams in each group as well as the best third-placed team will join Australia, Japan, North Korea and South Korea in the final.
The Iranian national team is coached by former MetroStars manager Carlos Queiroz. Team Melli qualified for the 2014 World Cup after finishing atop its group during Asian Football Confederation Qualifying.
San Jose hosts the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Buck Shaw Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. PT on Comcast SportsNet California, 1590 KLIV and 1370 KZSF. Tickets are still available by visiting www.sjearthquakes.com or calling 1-800-225-2277. Groups of 10 or more should call the club’s Front Office at 408-556-7700 to inquire about group rates.
GOALKEEPERS: Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan Esfahan), Hamed Lak (Tractor Sazi Tabriz), Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig).
DEFENDERS: Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal Tehran), Hossein Mahini (Persepolis Tehran), Steven Beitashour (San Jose Earthquakes), Mohammad-Reza Khanzadeh (Persepolis Tehran), Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal Tehran), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis Tehran), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal Tehran), Shoja Khalilzadeh (Sepahan Esfahan), Mehrdad Pouladi (Persepolis Tehran), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal Tehran).
MIDFIELDERS: Javad Nekounam (Esteghlal Tehran), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal Tehran), Omid Ebrahimi (Sepahan Esfahan), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan Esfahan), Mohammad Nouri (Persepolis Tehran), Mojtaba Jabbari (Al Ahli).
FORWARDS: Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham FC), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Standard Liege), Karim Ansarifard (Tractor Sazi), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Mohammad-Reza Khalatbari (Persepolis Tehran), Yaghoub Karimi (Sepahan Esfahan).