This is the fourth installment of We Are TFC. Every Wednesday, we’ll sit down with one of the Reds and help you get to know them a little bit better, on and off the field. This week, Devang Desai chats with defender Steven Beitashour, who is in his first season with Toronto FC after joining the club via trade from the Vancouver Whitecaps. The San Jose, CA native has been as good as advertised for the Reds at right back. We hope you’ll enjoy this series and let us know which TFC players you’d like to see profiled in the future.
Taking a look at your phone – what picture means the most to you and why?
BEITASHOUR: I think this was during Thanksgiving or Christmas, but we had the whole family there. My parents, my siblings, my Wife’s parents, the nieces and nephews. We had the whole crew in there. Family means a lot to me. This picture of my niece and nephew represents my family and the next generation that brings us together.
How would people close to you describe you in one word?
BEITASHOUR: I’m always trying to help others. I don’t want to say ‘please’ people, but help out in any way I can. If I can brighten someone’s day then I think I’ve done a good job.
That seems to be a common trait among the backline. Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Damien Perquis, Justin Morrow and you, just a bunch of nice guys..
BEITASHOUR: I mean (laughs), I think you have to be a little unselfish to be a defender. You do a lot of hard work and you don’t necessarily get the recognition for it. You have to be okay with that so maybe that is why.
What’s your favourite pastime?
BEITASHOUR: It used to be watching ESPN (laughs), but we don’t get that here. For sure I’m on a recliner getting the legs up and relaxing and watch either the news or some sports network, preferably ESPN.
Are you following the U.S. Presidential election closely?
BEITASHOUR: I’m trying not to, honestly (laughs). It’s getting crazy.
Your favourite soccer player and why?
BEITASHOUR: Brazilian Ronaldo. Growing up in my time when Brazil was dominating. I used to be an attacking player, in the midfield and a little bit as a forward, so I would always try to emulate him when I was playing. For the longest time my goal celebration was the same as his. Unfortunately I don’t score as much now (laughs) so I can’t do that much anymore.
Did his haircut at the 2002 World Cup change your impression of him…
BEITASHOUR: I think he did that just for the finals. It was a bit of a curveball. I’m not sure what the thinking was behind that.
Who are your best friends?
BEITASHOUR: I’ve got a few of them. I’ve my oldest friends Neema, Ali and Mahan. The three of them and my brother were around each other every day when we were younger. We talked all the time. I’d say the four of them would be my best friends. They are all in the States now and doing well. I’m definitely proud of them.
Do you have any quirks or superstitions?
BEITASHOUR: I have lots. I’m a creature of habit. If something works I like to continue doing it the exact same way. That goes from sleeping or napping to what I eat, drink and how much of it. It’s more of that, nothing like having to put my right sock first or something like that. If I’m stretching, foam rolling or eating foods at certain times I’m sticking to that.
What about your teammates? Clint and J-Mo...
BEITASHOUR: Throwing up?
BEITASHOUR: I’m not going to say who, but it might be the same guy but I don’t know if Clint played with him. J-Mo definitely played with the same guy. He would pull the trigger in the bathroom. Actually my weird quirk, and I’m not going to tell you what I say, but I saw something right before kickoff, every game. I’ve done it since high school. It’s the weirdest thing and it makes no sense.
Man, now I need to know!
BEITASHOUR: Once I’m done playing I’ll let you know what it is (laughs).
BEITASHOUR: Man On Fire.
How do you kill time during the off-season?
BEITASHOUR: I’m trying to recover from the season (laughs). I try to rest and go on some vacations. We might go to Morocco depending if Mehdi Ballouchy is back over there. We might go pay him a visit. Anyone you’ve played with you stay in touch and obviously we played in San Jose and Vancouver together. We’ve gone to more beaches in the past few years so we might check out Morocco.
If you weren’t a soccer player what would you be doing?
BEITASHOUR: I would be a dentist.
A dentist? See now this is a good answer. Why?
BEITASHOUR: I was always fascinated with teeth when I was younger. It’s just one of those things if soccer didn’t work out I was setting up my backup plan during college at San Diego State. I did all my science courses so that I could go to dental school if soccer didn’t work out. Fortunately I got drafted and went a different route.
Your favourite moment with TFC?
BEITASHOUR: The home opener was unreal. I was talking to my family and friends back home afterwards and they were saying how amazing it looked on TV. I compared it to the games we played at Stanford when I was with San Jose and we played the Galaxy. The atmosphere felt like that. The fans were loud. They were all in their seats right when we walked out of the tunnel which was amazing. Sometimes you see fans trickle in late and it’s not as intimidating for the visitors. When the fans are all there it gives us so much energy.
Who are your heroes?
BEITASHOUR: Have to go with my parents. My Mom instilled so much in me, in terms of hard work, caring about others and always trying to put other people above yourself. My Dad gave me the whole soccer side of it he’s quite the player so he always coaches me to this day.
What’s your ultimate goal in life?
BEITASHOUR: To build a family and raise them how my parents raised me. To be caring, to do to others as you would wanted done to yourself and to treat others with respect. I think that’s the main thing.
When I say “Toronto” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
BEITASHOUR: Sports town. The Raptors, Blue Jays, Maple Leafs and Toronto FC.
Has anyone ever said Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri and yourself look very similar?
BEITASHOUR: Yes! Someone yelled that at me during the home opener (laughs). I can’t remember if this was before the game or during the game. It’s also been tweeted at me. I’ll have to meet him to see if this is true or not.
Let us know who you would like to see featured in the next We Are TFC!