D.C. United announced today that they have re-signed starting center back and 2016 MVP Steve Birnbaum to a multi-year contract, rumored to be four years. As we said earlier this week, retaining Birnbaum was an absolutely part of the team’s offseason plans, with Bobby Boswell getting older and Kofi Opare and Jalen Robinson battling for the third spot.
The USMNT center back has also been the source of rumors from abroad, with teams in Israel apparently pursuing him and rumors (later shot down by Bob Bradley himself) of interest from Swansea.
United general manager Dave Kasper had this to say about the deal:
Through his work ethic and unwavering competitiveness, Steve has developed into a top central defender in MLS. Steve has become a leader in the locker room and has made a strong connection with his teammates, our fans and the city of Washington, D.C., and we are thrilled to have secured the long-term future of another talented young player as we move into 2017 and beyond.
This deal, like the Bill Hamid deal, does not preclude Birnbaum from moving abroad; it does, however, give him stability in his current contract, a big raise, and will give United a substantial transfer fee if and when the time is right.
Congrats, Steve, and we’re glad to have you here for the long haul!