D.C. United announced Friday the club has signed central defender Steve Birnbaum to a new multi-year contract – reportedly three years in length with an optional fourth year, according to sources of Steven Goff of the Washington Post.
“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,” D.C. United general manager Dave Kasper said in a club-issued statement.
Birnbaum’s contract was not set to expire until the end of the 2017 season, but the club opted to lock down the U.S. national team defender amid interest from European sides in his services, including a reported $ 1-million bid from an Israeli side.
Though the club did not reveal specific terms of the new deal, Goff reports that Birnbaum will be “on the cusp” of a Designated Player salary. Birnbaum made $ 116,350 overall in 2016, so his new contract would be somewhere in the $ 450,000 range.
The 25-year-old made 26 appearances in 2016, scoring three goals, recording two assists, and helping his side qualify for the MLS postseason.