Audi Celebrating Impact

Steve Birnbaum's commitment to helping DC's youth

Steve Birnbaum - Audi Impact

Few players are as synonymous with D.C. United as Steve Birnbaum, the long-serving captain who just completed his 10th season with the Black-and-Red.

After a decade of service in the nation’s capital – spanning nearly 250 regular-season MLS games – Birnbaum has created an indelible mark at the club. But, as the 32-year-old veteran center back tells it, he’s equally committed to giving back to the city he’s called home for his entire professional career.

Hence his involvement with DC Scores, a local organization founded in 1994 that uses soccer – among other activities – to positively engage with some 3,000 kids across 64 elementary and middle school partners.

“I’ve been here for 10 years now, and D.C. is my home,” Birnbaum said. “It’s just really moved me seeing the schools like this and seeing what other kids have to deal with. Something that I never had to deal with growing up.

“I’m here to just kind of give them a spark, something that they can grasp onto that might propel them to do something that they didn’t think was possible.”

In communities rife with hurdles, Birnbaum knows how important sports can be in steering youngsters down the right path.

“Teamwork is one of the biggest facets of life. Whether you’re family, a soccer team, anything that you do you need people around you to be supportive,” the second overall pick of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft said. “You’re not gonna win the game by yourself, but you’re also not gonna lose the game by yourself.”

Birnbaum’s personal involvement in the cause has spurred Audi to donate $20,000 to DC Scores via the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund – helping ensure the organization continues to positively impact the local community as it nears its 30th anniversary.

Added Birnbaum: “I think that’s the biggest thing: give kids who are underprivileged an outlet. Whether it be with soccer or poetry, something to look forward to, something to have fun with friends, just smile and be happy. And to have somewhat of a purpose outside of school. And so, that camaraderie with your friends is something that kind of shaped me, and hopefully that sticks with some of the kids.”

The Audi Goals Drive Progress initiative supports MLS athletes making an impact off the pitch through financial contributions to nonprofit organizations that create sustainable communities, foster equity and inclusion, and enrich the lives of those in need.