MLS Int'l Roundup: Steven Beitashour earns first start for Iran, Soony Saad capped by Lebanon
The largest contingent of MLS players on international duty outside of the US and Canada on Friday was found in Jamaica, where the Reggae Boyz hosted Trinidad & Tobago in a friendly that also saw one MLS player make an international debut. The Soca Warriors topped the home side 1-0 on a fifth-minute goal from Atulla Guerra.
With the result going against them, one of the big stories of the game for the Jamaicans was the debut of 17-year-old D.C. United Homegrown forward Michael Seaton, who entered at the start of the second half. Houston's Jason Johnson also received his first senior cap since 2010 when he came on in the 72nd minute. Columbus Crew midfielder Kevan George was the lone MLSer to suit up for T&T, going the full 90 minutes.
Across globe, San Jose Earthquakes defender Steven Beitashour picked up his first start for the Iranian national team and logged a full 90 minutes in the group’s 3-0 romp over Thailand in an Asian Cup qualifying match in Bangkok.
Beitashour started at right back for Iran, who rode first-half goals from Ashkan Dejagah and Reza Ghoochannejhad to a 2-0 lead and then capped the day with a stoppage-time goal from Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the easy win.
Beitashour, who was born in San Jose but has parents who both hail from Iran, made his debut with the team off the bench in a 2-0 win over Thailand in an Asian Cup qualifier in Tehran on Oct. 13.
Elsewhere in Asian Cup qualifying, Sporting Kansas City forward Soony Saad picked up his first competitive cap with Lebanon in a matchup against Kuwait. The 21-year-old forward started and played 74 minutes in the teams’ scoreless draw in Kazma.
Saad scored on his national team debut with Lebanon in a 1-1 draw against Oman in May in an international friendly, becoming the first player in MLS history to appear for the Lebanon national team.
LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, meanwhile, scored the 62nd goal of his international career to kick start the Republic of Ireland’s 3-0 romp over Latvia in an international friendly in Dublin.
Keane – who just this week revealed that he’s verbally agreed to a new two-year contract with the Galaxy with an option for a third year – scored in the 22nd minute, cleaning up an Irish corner kick that skipped off the head of midfielder James McLean. Keane started and was eventually pulled in the 72nd minute with the game well in hand for the hosts.
Chicago Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere also found the back of the net during an international friendly on Friday, notching his fifth career goal for Estonia in a 2-1 win over Azerbaijan in Tallinn. The 32-year-old former New York Red Bulls handyman scored the game-winner in the 66th minute for Estonia, who overcame an early 1-0 deficit to grab the win at home.
New York Red Bulls midfielder Jonny Steele made his debut for Northern Ireland, but was unable to lift the team to a win in an international friendly against Turkey in Istanbul. Steele, who leveraged a solid season for the Supporters’ Shield winners into his first shot with Northern Ireland, came on in the 67th minute in the 1-0 loss.
Here's the full rundown of MLSers in international action on Friday:
Iran – won 3-0 at Thailand, Asian Cup qualifier
Steven Beitashour (SJ) - Started, played 90 minutes
Lebanon – drew 0-0 at Kuwait, Asian Cup qualifier
Soony Saad (SKC) - Started, played 74 minutes
Canada – lost 2-0 at Czech Republic, friendly (Full Match Report)
Nana Attakora (SJ) - Subbed on in 73rd minute
Kyle Bekker (TOR) - Subbed on in 74th minute
Caleb Clarke (VAN) - Subbed on in 82nd minute
Dwayne De Rosario (unattached) - Started, played 82 minutes, missed PK
Doniel Henry (TOR) - Started, played 90 minutes
Ashtone Morgan (TOR) - Subbed on in 73rd minute
Jonathan Osorio (TOR) - Started, played 61 minutes
Karl Ouimette (MTL) - Dressed, did not play
Kyle Porter (DC) - Subbed on in 24th minute
Russell Teibert (VAN) - Subbed on in 61st minute
Estonia – won 2-1 vs. Azerbaijan, friendly
Joel Lindpere (CHI) - Started, scored in 66th minute
Northern Ireland - lost 1-0 at Turkey, friendly
Jonny Steele (NY) - Subbed on in 67st minute
Ireland – won 3-0 vs. Latvia, friendly
Robbie Keane (LA) - Started, scored in 22nd minute, played 72 minutes
United States – drew at Scotland 0-0, friendly (Full Match Report)
Brad Evans (SEA) - Started, played 72 minutes
Omar Gonzalez (LA) - Started, played 90 minutes
Bill Hamid (DC) - Did not dress
Eddie Johnson (SEA) - Started, played 62 minutes
Sean Johnson (CHI) - Dressed, did not play
Chris Wondolowski (SJ) - Subbed on in 81st minute
Jamaica – lost 1-0 vs. Trinidad & Tobago, friendly
Deshorn Brown (COL) - Started, played 72 minutes
Jason Johnson (HOU) - Subbed on in the 72nd minute
Darren Mattocks (VAN) - Started, played 87 minutes
Alvas Powell (POR) - Started
Michael Seaton (DC) - Subbed on in 46th minute
Je-Vaughn Watson (DAL) - Started
Trinidad & Tobago – won 1-0 vs. Jamaica, friendly
Keon Daniel (PHI) - Did not dress
Kevan George (CLB) - Started, played 90 minutes
Carlyle Mitchell (VAN) - Did not dress