DC United holds off European suitors, keeps Birnbaum

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Despite links with transfer destinations in Germany, the Netherlands and Israel, USMNT center back Steve Birnbaum is staying with DC United.

The Cal standout, 25, has agreed to a multi-year deal with the Black-and-Red, helping Ben Olsen’s quest to move up the Eastern Conference pecking order yet again.

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Birnbaum has nine caps and a goal for the USMNT, and has a good chance to further his import to the national team set-up under new coach Bruce Arena.

“Through his work ethic and unwavering competitiveness, Steve has developed into a top central defender in MLS,” Dave Kasper, United general manager and VP of soccer operations, said. “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.”

DC landed loan star Luciano Acosta on a permanent deal earlier this season. Their only Desginated Player is Kennedy Igboananike, acquired from Chicago in late July.

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