Dec. 21, 2011
BERKELEY - California defender Steve Birnbaum will play for the U.S. open men's soccer team in the 12th annual Pan American Maccabi Games from Dec. 26-Jan. 2 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A junior for the Golden Bears, Birnbaum garnered All-Pac-12 first-team honors after the 2011 regular season.
"This is great international experience for Steve," Cal head coach Kevin Grimes said. "Anytime you can play overseas against high-quality competition, it will only add to your game as a player."
The center back, who served as a Cal co-captain in 2011, scored the second goal of his college career in an Oct. 21 game at Oregon State. Birnbaum scored his first goal as a Bear in 2010 in a game against the Beavers in Berkeley.
A social welfare major, Birnbaum earned Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention this season.
Former Bear Leo Krupnik previously played for the United States in the 2005 World Maccabiah Games held in Israel.
For more information on the 2011b Pan American Maccabi Games, please visit the Maccabi USA website.