Defender Steve Birnbaum headed home Michael Bradley’s corner kick in the 90th minute to give the United States a 3-2 victory over Iceland in an exhibition match in Carson, Calif.
CARSON, Calif. – Steve Birnbaum and the U.S. men’s team need some time to shake off an up-and-down 2015 season.
The defender and American teammates all got off to a fine start on that process Sunday.
Birnbaum headed home the tiebreaking goal on Michael Bradley’s corner kick in the 90th minute, and the United States opened its 2016 schedule with a 3-2 exhibition victory over Iceland on Sunday.
Birnbaum had his first international goal and an assist as a second-half substitute in his second U.S. appearance. The Orange County native set up Michael Orozco’s tying goal in the 59th minute before knocking in the late winner, celebrating in front of a crowd that included his mother and grandmother.
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Considering Birnbaum didn’t know he would be in this training camp with coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s team until shortly before it started, he was thrilled by the follow-up to his U.S. debut last year.
“I didn’t really think I was going to be called into camp, and then a couple of days before, (Klinsmann) just said, ‘Can you be in on Monday?’ ” said Birnbaum, 25, who plays for D.C. United in Major League Soccer. “(Last year) was an up-and-down year. Getting my first cap was great, and then I got injured and it was downhill, and I didn’t really hear back from them. It was an up-and-down season at D.C., too. I’m just happy to be back to work.”
Jozy Altidore scored in the first half and Bradley had two assists in an entertaining start to the Americans’ season after a rough 2015 that included a 2-5-1 finish.