Based on where the following interview took place, Steven Beitashour has settled in nicely with Toronto FC.
The veteran right back spoke with torontofc.ca following Wednesday morning’s training session in an interesting locale.
“I’m currently in an ice bath with Drew Moor,” quipped the 29-year-old when asked to describe where he was to the fans back in Toronto.
Beitashour and Moor were two big targets for the Reds during the offseason following a tough defensive campaign for TFC in 2015. Moving from Vancouver to Toronto provided a set of logistical challenges, but they’ve been met head on by the Iranian international.
“It was an exciting move,” said Beitashour.
“It’s one of those where you’re a little worried at first about moving places but then once you see some interest from other teams it’s exciting, trying to figure out where you’re going to be. Overall it’s been smooth and hopefully the next couple weeks will be just as smooth.”
It’s been documented extensively since the end of last season, but this club cannot afford to concede 58 goals again. For as good as the Reds are on the attacking end, their offensive prowess will be rendered meaningless unless they can tighten things up at the back.
That’s why Beitashour was brought in, along with Moor and goalkeeper Clint Irwin. To nobody’s surprise the club has spent the majority of their practice time in Southern California working on defensive structure.
“That’s been the main focus since we arrived here,” said Beitashour. “[The focus] has been on shape, organization and working as a unit defensively, not just the guys on the backline. It’s something Greg [Vanney] has focused on and something us players have been trying to demonstrate in training and in the friendlies we’ve had. Hopefully we can execute and continue to get better leading up to March 6th.”
Communication will go a long way in aiding the solidity of the team’s defensive structure. A veteran group has been bolstered by the addition of MLS savvy players that have won in this league before.
"The cohesion is definitely building,” added Beitashour. “It’s one of those things where the guys are experienced and they’ve been in the league for sometime so we know of each other. We haven’t been on the same team, but we know of each other and our playing tendencies. I’ve seen what the players in front of me and next to me are capable of.”
Beitahsour celebrated his 29th birthday on Monday. Personal milestones like birthdays usually lead one to look back on the past and toward the future.
He’s won a Supporters’ Shield, as well as the Canadian Championship but grabbing hold of the most elusive piece of MLS silverware is the San Jose native’s primary objective in 2016.
“My personal goal is probably the biggest team goal. It’s winning that MLS Cup. That would be the coolest thing for me. I know it’s considered a team goal but I don’t have a championship unlike some of the guys here sitting in this ice bath with me,” said Beitashour, sharing a laugh with 2010 MLS Cup champion Moor.
“I would love to hold the MLS Cup at the end of the year and I don’t think I would put anything above that.”
He’s certainly not alone on that.