It was announced today that D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum has made the 40-man preliminary roster for the United States national team in advance of this summer's Copa America tournament. This serves as more evidence that Birnbaum's place within the USMNT is fairly solid. Thus far in 2016, he's had a one goal, one assist performance in January against Iceland, and then started his first World Cup qualifier in March against Guatemala.
The final squad of 23 determined by Jurgen Klinsmann is not due until May 20, though if Birnbaum makes the final cut, he would presumably miss the Black-and-Red's game at Sporting Kansas City on May 27th, along with the June 1st home game against the Seattle Sounders. The USA's group stage games are with Colombia on June 3rd, Costa Rica on June 7th and Paraguay on June 11th.
Should the USA make it out of the group, their quarterfinal match would be on June 16th or 17th, against the winner or runner-up from Group B (a group that includes Brazil, Ecuador, Haiti and Peru). If Birnbaum makes the squad and the US gets that far, Birnbaum would probably miss United's trip to Texas to face the Houston Dynamo on June 18th. A spot on the roster might also boost the recent transfer interest said to be percolating.
The rest of the roster is as follows:
DEFENDERS: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Monterrey), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Michael Orozco (Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Sunderland).
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Fabian Johnson (Moenchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), Perry Kitchen (Hearts), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Danny Williams (Reading), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund),Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Union Berlin), Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles Galaxy).
In the meantime, hooray Birdbomb!