Toronto FC announced Friday that the club has acquired Iranian international defender Steven Beitashour from the Vancouver Whitecaps FC in exchange for the club’s second highest 2016 second round MLS SuperDraft selection. As per club and league policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The right back position is one we struggled to fill at times this past season due to injury and available personnel and Steven more than fills that void. He is one of the top right backs in MLS,” said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Steven brings valuable league and international experience to our defensive group. We are very happy that he wanted to come to Toronto FC and that we were able to finalize this deal.”
Beitashour, 28, joins Toronto FC after spending the past two seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. With Vancouver, Beitashour made a combined 58 appearances with eight assists in MLS league play, MLS Cup playoffs and the Amway Canadian Championship. He was part of Vancouver’s 2015 Amway Canadian Championship winning side. Beitashour joined Vancouver via trade from the San Jose Earthquakes on January 27, 2014. He was originally selected in the second round, 30th overall in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft by San Jose out of San Diego State University. He went on to play four seasons for the Earthquakes where he made a combined 89 appearances (league and playoffs) scoring two goals and added 16 assists. In addition, during his time with San Jose, Beitashour was named an MLS All-Star during the 2012 season and was part of the Earthquakes’ MLS Supporters Shield winning side the same year. In six seasons in MLS, Beitashour has made a combined 145 appearances with two goals and 24 assists. His 24 assists are more than any other defender in MLS in the last five years.
“Toronto FC is a club that definitely caused teams around MLS to take notice last season and I’m looking forward to the chance to help take the club to the next level,” said Toronto FC defender Steven Beitashour. “I’m excited to once again play alongside Justin Morrow and looking forward to this new challenge.”
Beitashour has earned six caps for the Iranian National team. His first cap for Iran came on October 15, 2013 as a substitute in a 2-1 victory over Thailand during 2015 Asian Cup qualification. Beitashour was part of Iran’s 2014 FIFA World Cup squad but was an unused substitute in all three matches. His most recent cap came on June 8, 2014 during a 1-1 draw against Angola in a friendly match.