Steven Birnbaum draft stage 2014
Tony Quinn

Birnbaum's First Minutes

Steven Birnbaum is excited, nervous and ready-to-go all at the same time. Getting his first start tonight, the MLS Rookie and second overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft has yet to log regular season minutes for D.C. United.

"I’m a little nervous," Birnbaum said yesterday. "But I’m always a little nervous before playing a game; it’s a good nervous. I'm more excited than anything. It will be fun."

Having trained with Bobby Boswell and Jeff Parke all season, the talented rookie has received pointers from some of the best in MLS. It's a two-way street, though, as all three feed off each other.

"They're both having great seasons right now," he said of his mentors. "It was a bummer that Jeff went down, but hopefully there’s no drop in play when I come in. They’ve both taken me under their wings and showed me how to deal with certain plays. We give advice to each other, so it’s a good relationship we have."

Tonight, Birnbaum is just looking to help the team get the win. Three points, that's the goal.

"Im excited. It gives me the opportunity to show the coaches what I've got," Birnbaum stated. "I'm just trying to help the team out and win. That’s the biggest thing; hopefully I can step in there, and we can win. I'm just going to learn from Bobby and take what the game gives me."