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San Jose defender Steven Beitashour on two national radars?

May 11, 2012, 6:32 PM EDT

San Jose Earthquakes v Toronto FC Getty Images

News is out today that San Jose right back Steven Beitashour has been contacted by Iran about appearing for that country.

The Earthquakes’ third-year man holds dual US-Iranian citizenship.

Reflexive U.S. fan reaction may be to get the quality, attack-minded defender tied up. And he’s certainly having a good season at Buck Shaw, part of the reason for San Jose’s big success so far in 2012.

Always willing to get forward, Beitashour already got five assists this year, approaching last year’s total of seven – a righteous total that any fullback would be proud to have.

So, should the United States put a stamp on him? Maybe, but it’s just not that easy.

Here’s why:

First, in a highly unofficial ranking of U.S. right backs, I would put Beitashour, 25, no higher than 7th.

  • 1. Steve Cherundolo
  • 2. Tim Chandler
  • 3. Eric Lichaj
  • 4. Jonathan Spector
  • 5. Zach Loyd
  • 6. A.J. DeLaGarza

Even then, it might be a tied for seventh. That’s because Real Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran is having an outstanding season, developing apace in his fifth year as a pro. And he’s even younger than “Beta,” just 24 years old.

And what of Sheanon Williams, the fine young Philadelphia right back?

Tying up a player just for the sake of tying him up doesn’t make sense.

On the other hand, if Klinsmann does see qualities he likes in Beitashour – and there is a lot to like – then perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to have another right back in a coming camp.

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