Birnbaum playing for D.C. United
|Full name||Steven Mitchell Birnbaum|
|Date of birth||January 23, 1991|
|Place of birth||Newport, California, U.S.|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2009–2013||California Golden Bears||72||(12)|
|2010–2011||Orange County Blue Star||7||(0)|
|2014||→ Richmond Kickers (loan)||1||(0)|
|2008–2009||United States U18|
|2008||United States U20|
* 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 (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. Birnbaum started every game for D.C. United in the 2018 season. 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.
Birnbaum was born in Newport Beach, California, and is Jewish. His hometown is Irvine, California. His mother is Peggy (Schmidt) Birnbaum, who played softball and volleyball at the University of Missouri.
Youth and college
Birnbaum played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Southern California club Pateadores, of which he was the captain. He played for the U.S. U-18 and U.S. U-20 national teams in tournaments in Portugal and Mexico in 2008.
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. Birnbaum majored in social welfare. 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. While at college, Birnbaum also appeared for USL PDL club Orange County Blue Star in 2010 and 2011.
Birnbaum was selected in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 14, 2014, by D.C. United. 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. He is a crucial player of D.C. United because of his great defensive capabilities, and has played for them since 2014.
Following an injury to Jeff Parke, in 2014 Birnbaum became United's starting center back alongside Bobby Boswell. Birnbaum was named a finalist for the 2014 MLS Rookie of the Year, but lost to Tesho Akindele.
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. He was an MLS All Star in 2016. He became the team captain in 2017.
Birnbaum started every game for D.C. United in the 2018 season. In 2018 he played a career-high and club record 3,060 minutes, playing every minute in all 34 regular season games. 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.
In 2019, Birnbaum again started every game for D.C. United. 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. In 2019 he led the MLS in headed clearances (109) and aerials won (177).
Birnbaum debuted for the United States men's national soccer team on January 28, 2015. 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. He also played for the team in the 2016 Copa América Centenario and World Cup Qualifiers. In 2017, he played against Serbia and Jamaica.
Birnbaum married his fiancé, Jeanne, on December 15, 2018, in Virginia. They live in Logan Circle in Washington, D.C. He and Jeanne had a daughter together in October 2019 and a son in December 2020. 
|School||Season||NCAA Regular Season||NCAA Tournament||Other||Total|
- As of 4 October 2020
|Richmond Kickers (loan)||2014||USL||1||0||-||-||-||1||0|
- Appearance(s) in CONCACAF Champions League
|United States men's national team|
- As of goal scored on 31 January 2016
|1.||January 31, 2016||StubHub Center, Carson, California||Iceland||3–2||Friendly||United States vs. Iceland - 31 January 2016 - Soccerway|
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- "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.
- "D.C. United selects Steven Birnbaum with 2nd overall pick in 2014 MLS SuperDraft". DC United. January 16, 2014.
- http://www.uslsoccer.com/scripts/runisa.dll?M2:gp::72013+Elements/Display+E+47107+Stats/+4428813 Archived April 6, 2014, at archive.today
- "Head Coach Ben Olsen, three D.C. United players named finalists for 2014 MLS awards". DC United. November 20, 2014.
- Rob Usry (July 10, 2016). "Steve Birnbaum reportedly wants Maccabi Tel Aviv move; United reluctant to sell", Stars and Stripes.
- Goff, Steven (August 2, 2016). "Israeli club ups offer for D.C. United's Steve Birnbaum, but …". Washington Post.
- "Steve Birnbaum". mlssoccer.com.
- 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".
- "The United States topped Iceland 3–2 on Saturday thanks to a late goal from Steve Birnbaum". Sports Illustrated. January 31, 2016.
- Jeff Carlisle (February 1, 2016). "Steve Birnbaum takes his U.S. chance with winning goal vs. Iceland". ESPN.
- "Steve Birnbaum – USMNT". US Soccer Players.
- "Sports Shorts". Jewish Sports Review. 12 (137): 17. January–February 2020.
- Floyd, Thomas (July 12, 2018). "Golf, baseball and a dog party: D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum's perfect day". The Washington Post.
- Bogert, Tom (October 17, 2019). "Birnbaum family choose induced labor to avoid DC United playoff conflict". mlssoccer.com. Retrieved November 24, 2019.
- Steve Birnbaum at Soccerway