TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Extension
D.C. United have signed center back Steven Birnbaum to a two-year contract extension, the club announced Thursday, keeping the 32-year-old club captain in the nation's capital through the 2025 season.
Birnbaum first joined the Black-and-Red after being selected as the second-overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas. He's been a stalwart performer for the club ever since, and his 256 career appearances across all competitions for are third most in D.C. history, behind only Jaime Moreno (386) and Bill Hamid (297).
“Steven is in his 10th season with the team and continues to be one of the most consistent defenders in the league,” Dave Kasper, D.C. United president of soccer operations, said in a release. “He is a leader in the locker room and in the D.C. community, so we’re excited to extend his contract through 2025 and continue having him as a stalwart in our backline."
The veteran defender's strong performances have continued through the 2023 season, where he's appeared in all nine matches (eight as a starter), notching a goal in Matchday 4 against New York City FC.
“Steven has a massive influence on our team both on and off the field,” said D.C. United head coach Wayne Rooney. “From playing with him to now managing him, he continues to be one of the best defenders in the league week-in, week-out. I’m happy we could put pen to paper with him for another two years and I congratulate him for his years of service to the club.”
After a somewhat inauspicious start to the 2023 season (one win in their first seven matches), D.C. have righted the ship as of late, vaulting back into Audi MLS Cup Playoffs position in the Eastern Conference courtesy of back-to-back wins against CF Montréal and Orlando City SC.
The club have also stayed active in the transfer market through the Primary Window, most recently acquiring winger Cristian Dájome in a trade with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Other notable pickups include adding Lewis O'Brien on loan from Nottingham Forest and signing Mateusz Klich as a DP from Leeds United.
READ MORE: MLS Transfer Tracker presented by Avant