HOW ACQUIRED: Selected 2nd overall of 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
The center defender is one of the most dominating aerial presences in MLS but has also shown the versatility to play anywhere along the backline. Captaining the squad during a challenging 2017, he will be a key piece for the Black-and-Red as the team looks to have a better run in 2018.
INTERNATIONAL: Birnbaum started 2016 off strong, making his international debut for the US national team on Jan. 28 before scoring his first international goal several days later on Jan. 31 (a game-winner against Iceland). Birnbaum was also named to Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for the Copa America Centenario over the summer and World Cup Qualifiers in March and September.
COLLEGE: Birnbaum played four years of college soccer at Cal. He was a Missouri Athletic Club Herman Trophy Semifinalist, named a NSCAA First Team All-American, NSCAA First Team All-Far-West Team, College Soccer News First Team All-American selection, All Pac-12 first team, Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention and Soccer News Net College Boot Player of the Year Finalist in his senior year.
NOTES: 2016 MLS All-Star.