By FRANCO PANIZO
For the first time in what seems like quite a while, the U.S. Men’s National Team is set to lose out on a dual-national.
San Jose Earthquakes fullback Steve Beitashour has accepted a call-up from Iran ahead of an AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Thailand on Oct. 15, the MLS club announced on Monday. The 26-year-old, American-born Beitashour is eligible for selection for Iran through his parents, both of whom were born in the Western Asian country, and he has elected to represent Team Melli in a move that could ensure he has a future at the international level.
Beitashour had been called up by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in recent years, including for the famed 1-0 friendly win over Mexico in August 2012 and this past January’s month-long camp. But Beitashour never made an appearance for the United States, failing to make game-day rosters because of injury or coach’s choice.
If Beitashour makes an appearance in the upcoming match against Thailand, he will be cap-tied to Iran.
Currently coached by former NY/NJ MetroStars manager Carlos Queiroz, Iran has already secured its qualification for next summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
What do you think of Beitashour’s decision to play for Iran? Wishing Klinsmann would have called him up more often to the U.S. squad? Do you see Beitashour playing in next year’s World Cup?
Share your thoughts below.