Iran's Portuguese coach, Carlos Queiroz,
cut down Team Melli's squad from 35 to 24 players -- one over the maximum -- for the World Cup, and there was no spot for Iranian-American Steven
, who plays for LAFC.
Beitashour, 31, was a surprise pick on the preliminary list. He was a reserve on Iran's 2014 World Cup team but had not played for Team Melli since
The squad has a heavy international flavor with 14 players based on teams in Europe or the Middle East. Alireza Jahanbakhs
led the Dutch Eredivisie with 21 goals for AZ. Iran (23 players):
Alireza Beiranvand (Persepolis), Rashid Mazaheri (Zob Ahan), Amir Abedzadeh
Ali Gholizadeh (Saipa), Majid Hosseini (Esteghlal), Milad Mohammadi (Akhmat Grozny/RUS), Mohammad Khanzadeh (Padideh), Morteza Pouraliganji (Al Saad/QAT),
Pejman Montazeri (Esteghlal), Ramin Rezaeian (Ostende/BEL), Roozbeh Cheshmi (Esteghlal). MIDFIELDERS:
Ehsan Haji Safi (Olympiakos/GRE), Karim Ansarifard (Olympiakos/GRE), Masoud Shojaei
(AEK Athens/GRE), Mehdi Torabi (Saipa), Omid Ebrahimi (Esteghlal), Saeid Ezatolahi (Amkar Perm/RUS). FORWARDS:
Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ/NED), Ashkan Dejageh (Nott. Forest/ENG), Mehdi
Taremi (Al-Gharafa/QAT), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Heerenveen/NED), Saman Ghoddos (Ostersunds/SWE), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan/RUS), Vahid Amiri (Persepolis).