BERKELEY – The National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the California Golden Bears announced today that senior defender Steve Birnbaum has been named as a NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I Men’s First Team All-American. The last Golden Bear to earn NSCAA first team All-American honors was defender A.J. Soares in 2010, and Birnbaum becomes the seventh player in school history to do so.
“Steve being a NSCAA First Team All-American is quite an accomplishment,” Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. “His accomplishments and recognition this year are unprecedented. Obviously, he will go down as one of the all-time best players in Cal Soccer history. It is also the byproduct of great teammates who pushed each other every day in training. We are seeing the fruits of our labor in both the MLS Combine selections, as well as the Academic Pac-12, Pac-12, Far West Region and All-America recognition. This has been an historic week for Cal soccer. We couldn’t be more proud of this team and its season.”
Birnbaum, a Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy Semifinalist, an All-Pac-12 first team selection and Pac-12 All-Academic first team selection led the team in points (21), and goals (10) this year for the Golden Bears in 19 appearances, all of which were starts during California’s run to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.
The redshirt senior and team co-captain was a fixture in central defense, anchoring a back line that 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. The Irvine, Calif. native also scored the gamewinning goal in the second round on an incredible strike from distance against Bradley on Nov. 24.
Other NSCAA first team All-Americans from Cal include Carlos Osorio (1955), Kun Choo (1961), Timothy Tarpley (1964 and 1965), Stefan Frei and Andrew Jacobsen (both in 2007) and Soares (2010).
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.