Vancouver Whitecaps deal for All-Star defender Steven Beitashour, sign midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy
The San Jose Earthquakes made the departure of defender Steven Beitashour official on Monday, announcing that the club has dealt the former All-Star to the Vancouver Whitecaps for an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
With his contract expiring at the end of 2013, Beitashour, 26, had expressed a desire to try his hand in Europe. ESPNFC.com’s Jeff Carlisle first reported the news on Saturday.
“Steven is arguably the best right back in the league,” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in a statement. “He is fantastic on the defensive side of the ball and his ability to join the attack will make him a great addition to our club.”
Beitashour was originally drafted by the Quakes in the second round (No. 30) of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. An All-Star in 2012, the San Diego State product established himself as a mainstay in the San Jose lineup in 2011 and his service from the right flank was integral in their 2012 Supporters' Shield triumph.
Though he had a comparatively quiet season in 2013, Beitashour nonetheless earned his first call-up and playing time with the Iranian national team, opting to represent the country of his parents' birth on the international level after a handful of camps with the United States. To date, he has appeared in 87 regular-season contests, with two career goals and 16 assists to his name.
The Whitecaps also announced on Monday that they have signed midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy after acquiring his rights in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Draft last month. In eight MLS seasons with four clubs, Ballouchy, 30, has made 185 regular season appearances, while contributing offensively with 13 goals and 24 assists. The experienced midfielder has also made five appearances in postseason play, recording one assist.
“We are excited to welcome Mehdi to Vancouver,” Robinson said in a statement. “Having had the opportunity to work with Mehdi in New York, I am very familiar with the type player he is on the field and professional he is off the field. Mehdi will be a great addition to our club.”