Q&A with the number two overall pick: Steve Birnbaum

Stephanie Greene-USA TODAY Sport

D.C. United's first round pick answered some questions after the MLS Super Draft.

After a busy day in Philadelphia, former Cal defender Steve Birnbaum took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with me for a quick Q & A session:

Mitchell Northam: How would you describe the process of the combine and the draft?

Steve Birnbaum: "Both the combine and the draft have been great experiences. It's been cool to meet the guys I have been playing against in college. Everyone was excited and all the guys were having a good time; I got to room with my old roommate Christian Dean too. It was a little nerve racking at times, but mostly I had happy vibes."

MN: How happy were you to see Dean drafted just after you were picked?

SB: "It was awesome. We both knew we were going to get picked so we're both excited for each other. I can't say enough about him, he's a great player and I'm excited to play against him. That's going to be fun."

MN: You said you knew you were going to get picked, so at what point in your life did you know that you were going to play in MLS?

SB: "Coming into Cal I knew I wanted to play, but I think my freshman year of high school I really made it my goal to become a professional soccer player. I really committed to soccer as a person with the club and national team aspect of it. I really just wanted to make that next jump."

MN: Did you have an idea of where you were going to go in the draft?

SB: "I heard rumors about things, but you never know with trades and everything going on. I figured I would be one of the top picks, but really I'm just super stoked to be coming to DC. It's a great organization."

MN: Did you see D.C. United as one of the teams that might draft you?

SB: "Definitely. We kept in touch with each other throughout the combine, so I knew they were interested. I'm just happy that they picked me."

MN: What was your first impression of Ben Olsen?

SB: "He's awesome; great guy. He's passionate about his team, the sport, and everything that he is doing; and that's how I am as a player. I'm excited to start working with him."

MN: Do you think that there is a lot of pressure on you as the first round pick of a team that struggled so much last season?

SB: "I try not to think about the pressure. I'm going to try and go in there and just do what I've done throughout my career, which is to work hard. I'm all about helping the team right now, so whatever I can to do help the team is what I'll try to do and make that my goal."

MN: What are you looking forward to most about playing with D.C. United in MLS?

SB: "Just the opportunity to play with some great guys and to be a pro. That's what I've always dreamed of doing. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I'm so happy right now and I'm ready to just get out there and get going."

D.C. United selected Birnbaum with the number two overall pick in the draft after completing a trade with the Philadelphia Union which brought DC allocation money. The former Cal defender was regarded as one of the top players in the draft and many see him as MLS-ready. Playing the position of CB, he'll look to compete with veteran Bobby Boswell and newly acquired Jeff Parke for playing time.

Here's how the rest of the Super Draft went on day one:

First Round

Team Pick Blog
1. Philadelphia Union Andre Blake, GK Brotherly Game
2. D.C. United Steve Birnbaum, D Black and Red United
3. Vancouver Whitecaps Christian Dean, D 86 Forever
4. New England Revolution Steve Neumann, M/F The Bent Musket
5. Montreal Impact Eric Miller, D Mount Royal Soccer
6. FC Dallas Tesho Akindele, M/F Big D Soccer
7. Whitecaps Andre Lewis, M 86 Forever
8. Seattle Sounders Damion Lowe, D Sounder at Heart
9. San Jose Earthquakes J.J. Koval, M Quake, Rattle and Goal
10. Toronto FC Nick Hagglund, D Waking the Red
11. New England Revolution Patrick Mullins, M/F The Bent MusketBurgundy Wave
12. Colorado Rapids Marlon Hairston, M Burgundy Wave
13. Chicago Fire Marco Franco, D Hot Time In Old Town
14. Crew Ben Sweat, D Massive Report
15. Union Pedro Ribeiro, M Brotherly Game
16. Houston Dynamo A.J. Cochran, D Dynamo Theory
17. Portland Timbers Schillo Tshuma, M/F Stumptown Footy
18. Real Salt Lake Ryan Neil, D RSL Soapbox
19. Rapids Grant Van de Casteele, D Burgundy Wave

Second Round

Team Blog
20. Chivas USA Thomas McNamara, M The Goat Parade
21. Seattle Sounders Jimmy Ockford, D Sounder at Heart
22. New York Red Bulls Chris Duvall, D Once a Metro
23. LA Galaxy Kyle Venter, D LAG Confidential
24. Toronto FC Daniel Lovitz, M Waking the Red
25. Union Kevin Cope, D Brotherly Game
26. Timbers Taylor Peay, D Stumptown Footy
27. Union Robbie Derschang, D Brotherly Game
28. Earthquakes Joe Sofia, D Quake, Rattle and Goal
29. United Victor Munoz, M Black and Red United
30. Whitecaps Mamadou Diouf, F 86 Forever
31. Revolution Alec Sundly, M The Bent Musket
32. Dynamo Mark Sherrod, F Dynamo Theory
33. Rapids Jared Watts, M Burgundy Wave
34. Red Bulls Eric Stevenson, M Once a Metro
35. Rapids John Berner, GK Burgundy Wave
36. Timbers Aaron Long, M Stumptown Footy
37. Impact George Malki, M Mount Royal Soccer
38. Sporting Kansas City Adnan Gabeljic, F The Daily Wiz
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