VANCOUVER, B.C. – Steven Beitashour may be a defender by trade, but he prides himself just as much on helping the attack.
The right back took part in his first training session with the Vancouver Whitecaps on Tuesday at the University of British Columbia, one day after coming over from the San Jose Earthquakes for allocation money. And the man who has led MLS defenders in assists over the last three seasons with 16 said he plans to continue that offensive contribution from the back with his new club.
“I like to attack,” Beitashour told reporters following Tuesday's preseason session. “I'm very competitive, so I don't like to get beat. ... As a defender, you do your job first, but I'm hungry to go attack and help set up goals, get some assists.”
New head coach Carl Robinson has mentioned at times during preseason that he felt the team lacked urgency at times last season, when the club missed the playoffs by just three points following a dip in form over the final third of the campaign.
The Welsh bench boss seems to feel the California-born Iranian international will bring some tenacity and at age 26 will also provide leadership and set an example to a young squad.
“I'm proud of my work ethic,” Beitashour said. “I think I can bring that to the team. I've talked to the coach about that already, and he wants me to instill that within the other players. Hopefully I can just work hard and get up and down the flanks like I have been the past few years.”
- Get the latest Whitecaps news at WhitecapsFC.com
Apart from impressing new teammates and fans in a new city, Beitashour also has one eye toward this summer's World Cup in Brazil and is hoping Iranian boss Carlos Queiroz likes what he sees.
“That's always important,” he said of getting a national team call-up. “I always say it all starts here. You’ve got to play well here to get called in there. Hopefully I can start off here and carry on to there.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.