BERKELEY – The Missouri Athletic Club and the California Golden Bears announced today that senior defender Steve Birnbaum has been named a semifinalist for the prestigious MAC Hermann Trophy. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual intercollegiate award presented annually during a January banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
NCAA Division I coaches that are NSCAA College Services members may vote for their top choices Wednesday, Dec. 4 through Tuesday, Dec. 10 within myNSCAA on NSCAA.com. Soccer fans can also let their collective voice be heard by voting for their favorite player on the MAC’s website hosted by LockerDome, starting Thursday, Dec. 5.
The top three vote-getters from the combined NSCAA coaches and weighted fan votes will be announced as finalists Thursday, Dec. 12, followed by the announcement of the winners at the banquet, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.
“Each year, we look forward to seeing the wealth of talent college soccer presents and working with the Missouri Athletic Club to cap the season by bestowing this prestigious award,” NSCAA CEO Joe Cummings said. “We also take pride in knowing that those that know this game the best, coaches and fans, have a hand in selecting these winners.”
Birnbaum, an All-Pac-12 first team selection and Pac-12 All-Academic first team selection leads the team in points, with 21 and goals, with ten this year for the Golden Bears in 18 appearances, all of which are starts. The redshirt senior and team co-captain has been a fixture in central defense, anchoring a back line that has helped shut out seven opponents in 2013, including the No. 18 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the third round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament on Sunday in Berkeley. The Irvine, Calif. native also scored the gamewinning goal in the second round on an incredible strike from distance against Bradley on Nov. 24.
"For more than a quarter century the Missouri Athletic Club has had the privilege of annually honoring the top players in college soccer," MAC director of communications Jim Wilson said. "We look forward to carrying on that tradition this year when we find out who joins the ranks of some of the legends of the game like Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Claudia Reyna and Alexi Lalas, who all claimed the crystal soccer ball trophy as collegiate players."
The Bears earned the fourth overall seed and are now in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament for only the third time in school history. They host fifth-seeded Maryland on Saturday, Dec. 1 at 1:30 p.m. PT at Goldman Field in Berkeley. Tickets are on sale on the day of game only at the Edwards Stadium ticket booth. Tickets can be purchased for just $10 (adults) and $5 (students/seniors/youth) and only cash will be accepted.
About the Missouri Athletic ClubThe Missouri Athletic Club has been presenting college soccer’s players of the year awards since 1986. The MAC was established in 1903 as an athletic, dining and social club. It has a “Platinum Club of America” status, which is awarded to the top private clubs in the country. To learn more about the Missouri Athletic Club, go to mac-stl.org.
About the NSCAA Founded in 1941 and based in Kansas City, Kan., the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to educate coaches, encourage excellence and serve the soccer community. The NSCAA is the world’s largest soccer coaches’ organization with members at every level of the game. The membership is primarily made up of coaches, but also includes administrators, referees and others in the soccer industry. The NSCAA provides its members ways to enhance the game of soccer by providing a national education program, interaction and networking opportunities, and membership benefits. For more information about the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, visit the NSCAA website at NSCAA.com.