D.C. United has agreed terms with U.S. national team defender Steve Birnbaum, ESPN FC has learned.
League sources said on Tuesday night that the sides have agreed to a new four-year deal to keep Birnbaum in Major League Soccer for the long term after months of persistent interest in the centre-back from perennial Israeli club power Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Birnbaum was still playing on his DC United rookie-scale contract last season but, according to sources, has secured a significant pay increase from the MLS club that drafted him out of Cal with the league's No. 2 overall pick in 2014.
The giant defender has been capped nine times for the United States since making his international debut in January 2015.
DC United consistently rebuffed outside interest in the 25-year-old over the past year and, with the new contract, has secured Birnbaum as a key cornerstone for its future after securing the permanent transfer of playmaker Luciano Acosta from famed Argentinean club Boca Juniors earlier this month.