Steve Birnbaum

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Steve Birnbaum
Steve Birnbaum DC United.JPG
Birnbaum playing for D.C. United
Personal information
Full name Steven Mitchell Birnbaum
Date of birth (1991-01-23) January 23, 1991 (age 30)
Place of birth Newport, California, U.S.
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Position(s) Defender
Club information
Current team
D.C. United
Number 15
Youth career
Pateadores
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2013 California Golden Bears 72 (12)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2011 Orange County Blue Star 7 (0)
2014– D.C. United 173 (8)
2014Richmond Kickers (loan) 1 (0)
National team
2008–2009 United States U18
2008 United States U20
2015–2017 United States 11 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 8, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of February 3, 2017

Steven Mitchell Birnbaum[1] (born January 23, 1991) is an American professional soccer player who is captain of and plays as a defender for D.C. United (since 2014) and the United States men's national soccer team.[2] Birnbaum started every game for D.C. United in the 2018 season.[3] In 2018 he played every minute in all 34 regular season games, and led Major League Soccer in total clearances, headed clearances, and aerials won, and in 2019 he again led the league in headed clearances and aerials won.

Early life[edit]

Birnbaum was born in Newport Beach, California, and is Jewish.[4][5] His hometown is Irvine, California.[6] His mother is Peggy (Schmidt) Birnbaum, who played softball and volleyball at the University of Missouri.[7][8][6]

He completed high school early at Northwood High School at age 17.[9] Birnbaum also played volleyball and lacrosse in high school.[10]

Career[edit]

Youth and college[edit]

Birnbaum played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Southern California club Pateadores, of which he was the captain.[10] He played for the U.S. U-18 and U.S. U-20 national teams in tournaments in Portugal and Mexico in 2008.[10]

He played 72 games over five years of college soccer on scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley for the California Golden Bears men's soccer team, between 2009 and 2013, though redshirted the 2012 season, and was team captain.[11][6][5][12] Birnbaum majored in social welfare.[10] He was 2010 and 2011 Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention, 2011 and 2013 All-Pac-12 first team, 2011 Jewish Sports Review first-team All-American, a 2013 Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy semifinalist, an National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) 2013 First Team All-American, NSCAA 2013 First Team All-Far-West Team, and a finalist for the Soccer News Net College Boot Player of the Year Award.[11][12][10][13] While at college, Birnbaum also appeared for USL PDL club Orange County Blue Star in 2010 and 2011.[14]

In 2012, he won a silver medal with the U.S. team in the 2012 Pan American Maccabi Games in Brazil.[5][9][12]

Professional[edit]

Birnbaum was selected in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 14, 2014, by D.C. United.[15] He was loaned out to their USL Pro affiliate Richmond Kickers in March 2014, making his professional debut on April 5, 2014 in a 3–1 win over the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.[16] He is a crucial player of D.C. United because of his great defensive capabilities, and has played for them since 2014.[2]

Following an injury to Jeff Parke, in 2014 Birnbaum became United's starting center back alongside Bobby Boswell.[11] Birnbaum was named a finalist for the 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year, but lost to Tesho Akindele.[17]

Birnbaum scored his first goal for United on February 26, 2015, in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal leg against Alajuelense. In 2016, Birnbaum was the subject of several rumors regarding a possible transfer to Europe or Israel, with Maccabi Tel Aviv offering $1.5 million and mentioned as one possible destination.[18][19] He was an MLS All Star in 2016.[13][11] He became the team captain in 2017.[11]

Birnbaum started every game for D.C. United in the 2018 season.[3] In 2018 he played a career-high and club record 3,060 minutes, playing every minute in all 34 regular season games.[2] He led the league in total clearances (217), headed clearances (120), and aerials won (173), and came in 6th in the voting for the MLS Defender of the Year Award.[2][11]

In 2019, Birnbaum again started every game for D.C. United.[3] His teamwork with fellow defender, Frédéric Brillant, and goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, helped DC to concede the lowest number of goals in the Eastern Conference in 2019.[3] In 2019 he led the MLS in headed clearances (109) and aerials won (177).[11]

International[edit]

Birnbaum played for the United States U18 and United States U20 national teams in 2008.[20]

Birnbaum debuted for the United States men's national soccer team on January 28, 2015.[21] His first goal for the USMNT was a 90th-minute winner versus Iceland on January 31, 2016, a game in which he had already provided an equalizing assist to Michael Orozco to make it 2-2.[22][23] He also played for the team in the 2016 Copa América Centenario and World Cup Qualifiers.[13][11] In 2017, he played against Serbia and Jamaica.[24]

Accolades[edit]

Birnbaum was inducted into the Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.[12] He was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2020.[25]

Personal life[edit]

Birnbaum married his fiancé, Jeanne, on December 15, 2018, in Virginia.[26] They live in Logan Circle in Washington, D.C.[26] He and Jeanne had a daughter together in October 2019 and a son in December 2020. [27]

Statistics[edit]

College[edit]

School Season NCAA Regular Season NCAA Tournament Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
California 2009 Div. I 17 0 0 0 0 0 17 0
2010 18 1 2 0 0 0 20 1
2011 16 1 0 0 0 0 16 1
2012 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
2013 16 9 3 1 0 0 19 10
NCAA Total 69 11 5 1 0 0 74 12

Club[edit]

As of 4 October 2020[28]
Club Season League Cup Playoffs Continental Total
League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
D.C. United 2014 MLS 21 0 1 0 2 0 1[a] 0 25 0
2015 22 2 1 0 3 0 5[a] 1 31 3
2016 26 3 0 0 1 0 2[a] 0 29 3
2017 26 0 0 0 - - 26 0
2018 34 2 2 0 - - 36 2
2019 34 1 2 0 1 0 - 37 1
2020 10 0 - - - 10 0
Total 173 8 6 0 7 0 8 1 194 9
Richmond Kickers (loan) 2014 USL 1 0 - - - 1 0
Career totals 174 8 6 0 7 0 8 1 195 9
  1. ^ a b c Appearance(s) in CONCACAF Champions League

International[edit]

United States men's national team
Year Apps Goals
2015 1 0
2016 8 1
2017 2 0
Total 11 1
As of goal scored on 31 January 2016
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1. January 31, 2016 StubHub Center, Carson, California  Iceland
3–2
3–2 Friendly United States vs. Iceland - 31 January 2016 - Soccerway

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "#15 - Steven Mitchell Birnbaum". NOMADS Soccer Club. Archived from the original on February 27, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Sports". Washington Post.
  3. ^ a b c d Bromley, Ben (November 19, 2019). "D.C. United 2019 season review: Steven Birnbaum". Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "Sports Shorts," Jewish Sports Review, Volume 9, Number 11, Issue 107, Page 19, January/February 2015.
  5. ^ a b c "Steve Birnbaum Biography". calbears.com.
  6. ^ a b c "Stint with national team has Steve Birnbaum confident upon return to D.C. United". The Washington Times. March 17, 2016.
  7. ^ "Irvinestrikers". Irvine Strikers.
  8. ^ "Kaplan's Korner", New Jersey Jewish News, December 7, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Steven Birnbaum". seniorclassaward.com.
  10. ^ a b c d e "Steve Birnbaum - Men's Soccer". University of California Golden Bears Athletics.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h "Steven Birnbaum | D.C. United". dcunited.com.
  12. ^ a b c d "Birnbaum to be inducted into Greater Washington Jewish Sports Hall of Fame | D.C. United". November 17, 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "Steven Birnbaum". MLSsoccer.com.
  14. ^ "PDL Standouts Taken In MLS SuperDraft; Former players Birnbaum, Neumann, Miller all selected in Top 5". Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014.
  15. ^ "D.C. United selects Steven Birnbaum with 2nd overall pick in 2014 MLS SuperDraft". DC United. January 16, 2014.
  16. ^ http://www.uslsoccer.com/scripts/runisa.dll?M2:gp::72013+Elements/Display+E+47107+Stats/+4428813 Archived April 6, 2014, at archive.today
  17. ^ "Head Coach Ben Olsen, three D.C. United players named finalists for 2014 MLS awards". DC United. November 20, 2014.
  18. ^ Rob Usry (July 10, 2016). "Steve Birnbaum reportedly wants Maccabi Tel Aviv move; United reluctant to sell", Stars and Stripes.
  19. ^ Goff, Steven (August 2, 2016). "Israeli club ups offer for D.C. United's Steve Birnbaum, but …". Washington Post.
  20. ^ "Steve Birnbaum". mlssoccer.com.
  21. ^ Jason Anderson (January 29, 2015). "D.C. United's Steve Birnbaum makes his USMNT debut in 3-2 loss at Chile; United's Rookie of the Year candidate continued his rapid rise, performing well in his first cap as the United States lost an entertaining - if error-strewn - game against Chile".
  22. ^ "The United States topped Iceland 3–2 on Saturday thanks to a late goal from Steve Birnbaum". Sports Illustrated. January 31, 2016.
  23. ^ Jeff Carlisle (February 1, 2016). "Steve Birnbaum takes his U.S. chance with winning goal vs. Iceland". ESPN.
  24. ^ "Steve Birnbaum – USMNT". US Soccer Players.
  25. ^ "Sports Shorts". Jewish Sports Review. 12 (137): 17. January–February 2020.
  26. ^ a b Floyd, Thomas (July 12, 2018). "Golf, baseball and a dog party: D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum's perfect day". The Washington Post.
  27. ^ Bogert, Tom (October 17, 2019). "Birnbaum family choose induced labor to avoid DC United playoff conflict". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
  28. ^ Steve Birnbaum at Soccerway

External links[edit]