PHILADELPHIA – D.C. United took a major step to shore up their defensive ranks in the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday, using the second overall pick on California defender Steve Birnbaum, a talented center back considered arguably the most MLS-ready talent in this year’s class.
D.C. United held the first pick in the draft heading into the day after a dismal finish last season, but swapped the pick to the Philadelphia Union for the No. 2 pick and an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
Binrbaum, who will turn 23 years old next week, was a NSCAA First Team All-American for the Golden Bears last season and has drawn comparisons to US national team regular Geoff Cameron for his playing styie out of the back and his ability in the air.
D.C. United allowed 59 goals last season – most in the Eastern Conference – en route to posting the worst regular-season record in league history. Their offseason overhaul has been focused primarily on the backline, with the additions last month of likely starters Bobby Boswell and Sean Frankin and, via trade earlier this week with the Philadelphia Union, veteran Jeff Parke.