After making a trade with the Philadelphia Union to move down to the No. 2 spot in the MLS SuperDraft, D.C. United selected Cal's Steve Birnbaum. The center back was voted as the MVP of the recently concluded MLS Combine.
They don't come much more pro-ready than Birnbaum, who has drawn comparisons to United States national team defender Geoff Cameron because of his physical and technical abilities. The fifth-year senior anchored the Cal backline for his final three full seasons, finally breaking out with 10 goal in his senior year. Up until his senior year, the Southern California native had only scored a pair of goals.
Scouts rave about the soon-to-be 23-year-old's aerial abilities and his strength, while also giving him points for being comfortable with the ball at his feet. At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, he has the kind of body that compete with MLS forward from Day 1 and should be able to compete for a starting spot right away, quite capable of taking that spot from either Jeff Parke or Bobby Boswell. If there's one knock against him, though, it's that he may linger on the ball a bit long and have a bit too much faith in his ability to dribble out of trouble.