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Vancouver’s Beitashour, Fulham’s Dejagah on Iran preliminary roster

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Twenty-eight candidates will be called into Carlos Quieroz’s camp as part of Iran’s preliminary roster for World Cup 2014, only 10 of whom ply their trade outside of the nation they’re hoping to represent.

One of those is Vancouver Whitecaps defender Steven Beitashour, who is one of only two defenders playing outside of Iran. Born in California, both of Beitashour’s parents are Iranian. He’s received four caps for Iran, all since being called-up by the US but going unused by Jurgen Klinsmann in an August 2012 friendly.

There’s a solid L.A. Times story on Beitashour’s desire to play for Iran, courtesy of Kevin Baxter:

“I just thought about soccer,” Beitashour says. “It’s a great opportunity, especially to play on the international stage.”

And secondly, he is not a mercenary. If U.S. Soccer had pursued him with the same as fervor as Iran’s national team, he would have been just as happy to stay home. But he was never asked to make that choice.

“If everything were equal, if both teams come at you at the exact same time?” Beitashour, who was born in San Jose to Iranian parents, asks rhetorically. “That would never happen.”

Aside from Beitashour, Iran’s lineup packs some punch with dangerous Fulham attacker Ashkan Dejagah leading the charge. Their greatest depth may be in goal.

Full roster:

Goalkeepers (4): Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig), Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan Esfahan), Sousha Makani (Foolad Khuzesta)

Defenders (11):
Khosro Heydari (Esteghlal Tehran), Hossein Mahini (Persepolis Tehran), Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis Tehran), Amir-Hossein Sadeghi (Esteghlal Tehran), Mohammad-Reza Khanzadeh (Zob Ahan Esfahan), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft Tehran), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal Tehran), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan Esfahan), Mehrdad Pouladi (Persepolis Tehran)

Midfielders (5):
Javad Nekounam (Kuwait SC), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal Tehran), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis Tehran)
Ghasem Hadadifar (Zob Ahan Esfahan), Bakhtiar Rahmani (Foolad Khuzestan)

Forwards (8):
Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham FC), Masoud Shojaei (UD Las Palmas), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Mohammad-Reza Khalatbari (Persepolis Tehran), Mehdi Sharifi (Sepahan Esfahan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton Atheltic), Karim Ansarifard (Tractor Sazi Tabriz), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan)

Zlatan becomes PSG’s all-time leading goalscorer

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 21:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic #10 of Paris Saint-Germain celebrates his goal in the second half against AFC Fiorentina during the International Champions Cup at Red Bull Arena on July 21, 2015 in Harrison, New Jersey.Paris Saint-Germain defeated ACF Fiorentina 4-2.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Paris Saint-Germain in 2012, and he is already the club’s all-time leading scorer.

After scoring both of PSG’s goals in a 2-1 win over Marseille today, Zlatan’s tally is up to 110 goals for the club, eclipsing Pauleta’s mark of 109. However, Pauleta needed 79 more matches to reach that number.

Zlatan has scored at a blistering pace since moving to Paris, having seasons of 35, 41, and 30 goals in his first three years at the club. Early into his fourth season with PSG, he has four goals through seven matches.

Not only has Zlatan achieved great success individually during his time at Parc des Princes, the club has dominated French football during his tenure.

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Since Zlatan moved to Paris in 2012, the club has won three consecutive Ligue 1 titles, two League Cups, and one French Cup. During that time, Zlatan was twice named Ligue 1 Player of the Year and won two Golden Boots as the league’s top scorer.

Zlatan’s contract with PSG is up at the end of this season, and it has been long suspected that he will move on and join a new club next summer. Despite turning 34 earlier this month, Zlatan has proven his is still one of the world’s elite goalscorers, and will have his choice of clubs should he leave PSG.

Atletico and Real draw 1-1 in Madrid derby

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 04: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid CF wins the header after Gabi Fernandez of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on October 4, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Luciano Vietto scored with less than ten minutes to play to earn a draw for Atletico Madrid against their crosstown rivals Real.

Karim Benzema had given Real Madrid an early lead, heading home a cross from Dani Carvajal in the ninth minute. While Cristiano Ronaldo may get all the headlines, Benzema has been superb for Real, scoring six goals in seven La Liga matches this season.

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Atletico had a golden opportunity to draw level in the 22nd minute when the hosts were awarded a penalty, but Keylor Navas made a brilliant save to deny Antoine Griezmann, keeping Real ahead.

Still trailing 1-0, Diego Simeone made a substitution for Atletico in the 58th minute, bringing in Luciano Vietto for some added strength on the attack. It was the 21-year-old’s first taste of a Madrid derby, and he proved to be ready for the pressure.

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With the clock winding down, Jackson Martinez played a cross in from the left wing, and after a slight scramble in the box, the young Vietto cleaned up the scraps to level the score in the 83rd minute.

The result leaves Real Madrid second in La Liga, one point behind leaders Villarreal, while Atletico sits fifth, three points off the leaders.