After taking some serious offseason lumps, the Vancouver Whitecaps are starting to piece things together.
The Whitecaps, fresh off the Camilo and Andre Lewis disasters, acquired MLS All-Star right back and Iran World Cup hopeful Steven Beitashour from the San Jose Earthquakes Monday in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money Monday. The trade, which was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Carlisle over the weekend, provides Vancouver with a natural successor to retired South Korean star right back Young-Pyo Lee.
Beitashour's arrival, coupled with the re-signing of U.S. veteran and Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit, helps provide first-year manager Carl Robinson with a pair of dependable options across his back line. The club also used its third overall selection in the MLS SuperDraft to take Cal central defender Christian Dean.
“Steven is arguably the best right back in the league,” Robinson said in a team statement, reserving high praise for his new acquisition. “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 initially thought to be exploring options in Europe in an effort to boost his chances at making Iran's national team. Once a U.S. call-up by Jurgen Klinsmann, Beitashour opted for Iran to try and improve his odds at playing in a World Cup. Iran was drawn into Group F with Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Nigeria for this summer's competition in Brazil.
For San Jose, the Beitashour's departure, while expected, signifies another step in the changing of the guard for the club's defense. The Quakes offloaded Justin Morrow, who started along with Beitashour against Chelsea in the 2012 MLS All-Star Game, to Toronto in another deal for allocation money. They retooled by signing Brandon Barklage and Shaun Francis to fill those voids next to expected starting center backs Clarence Goodson and Victor Bernardez.