Steve Birnbaum

Steven Mitchell Birnbaum[1] (born January 23, 1991) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a defender for D.C. United and the United States men's national soccer team.

Steve Birnbaum
Birnbaum playing for D.C. United
Personal information
Full name Steven Mitchell Birnbaum
Date of birth (1991-01-23) January 23, 1991
Place of birth Newport, California, United States
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
D.C. United
Number 15
Youth career
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 163 (8)
2014Richmond Kickers (loan) 1 (0)
National team
2008–2009 United States U18
2008 United States U20
2015– 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

Early life

Birnbaum was born in Newport Beach, California.[2][3] His mother is Peggy (Schmidt) Birnbaum.[4][5] He completed high school early at Northwood High School at age 17.[6]


Youth and college

Birnbaum played in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Southern California club Pateadores. He played five years of college soccer at the University of California, Berkeley between 2009 and 2013, though redshirted the 2012 season.[7] While at college, Birnbaum also appeared for USL PDL club Orange County Blue Star in 2010 and 2011.[8]

In 2012, he won a silver medal with the U.S. team in the 2012 Pan American Maccabi Games in Brazil.[3][6]


Birnbaum was selected in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft on January 14, 2014 by D.C. United.[9] 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.[10] Steve is a crucial player of DC United because of his great defensive capabilities.

Following an injury to Jeff Parke, 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.[11] 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, with Maccabi Tel Aviv mentioned as one possible destination.[12] He replaced Bobby Boswell as team captain when Boswell left. Afterwards when Wayne Rooney joined D.C. United, the captain role was given to Wayne.

Birnbaum started every game for D.C. United in both the 2018 and 2019 season.[13] 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.[13]


Birnbaum played for the United States U18 and United States U20 national teams in 2008.[14]

Birnbaum debuted for the United States men's national soccer team on January 28, 2015.[15] 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.[16]

Personal life

Steven married his fiancé, Jeanne, on December 15, 2018, in Virginia. He also has a nephew via his sister. He and Jeanne had their first child together, a daughter, in October 2019. [17]



School Season NCAA Regular Season NCAA Tournament Other Total
California 2009 Div. I 1700000170
2010 1812000201
2011 1610000161
2012 20000020
2013 16931001910
NCAA Total 691151007412


As of April 24, 2017.
Club Season League Cup League Cup 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 0 25 0
Richmond Kickers (loan) 2014 USL 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
D.C. United 2015 MLS 22 2 1 0 3 0 5 1 31 3
2016 26 3 0 0 1 0 2 0 29 3
2017 10 0 0 0 0 0 - 10 0
Career totals 80 5 2 0 6 0 8 1 96 5

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result CompetitionRef
1.January 31, 2016StubHub Center, Carson, California Iceland


United States men's national team

See also


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