Zack Steffen Profile
|Born||Apr 02, 1995|
|Birthplace||Coatesville, Pennsylvania, United States|
Zack Steffen is an American soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Manchester City and the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT).
Steffen started out as a defender for West Chester United. His switch to goalkeeping at the age of 10 happened by chance, as he filled in for a team-mate who could not make it to a game.
Having come through Philadelphia Union's academy, Steffen played college soccer for the Maryland Terrapins and went on to start his professional career at German club, SC Freiburg.
Steffen struggled to make his way up the pecking order at Freiburg and moved on to Columbus Crew, where he was initially loaned out to Pittsburgh Riverhounds and then became Columbus' first-choice goalkeeper. In 2019, he moved to Manchester City. He was loaned to Fortuna Dusseldorf for the 2019/20 season, but then rejoined the City first team for the following campaign.
Early career and SC Freiburg
Steffen joined FC DELCO in 2008 and played for the club in the US Soccer Development Academy throughout his high school career.
Having initially attended Malvern Preparatory School, Steffen transferred to Downingtown West High School and was the Ches-Mont League MVP as a senior. Steffen picked up all-PIAA and all-American honours.
Steffen was one of the first graduates from the Philadelphia Union Academy. He played for their U-17 team in 2012 and was in the team which won the Generation Adidas Cup, beating Toronto FC Academy in a penalty shootout.
Steffen was recruited to join Maryland Terrapins in 2013 and made his collegiate debut in a 3-3 draw with Stanford. Steffen went on to play every minute of Maryland's 26 games.
He remained first-choice goalkeeper as Maryland transitioned to the 2014 Big Ten conference, playing all 22 matches and conceding only 19 goals. Maryland claimed the Big Ten regular season title, but Steffen's last game for them saw them suffer a first round exit at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament at the hands of UMBC.
Steffen left Maryland in December 2014 to begin his professional career with SC Freiburg in Germany.
He had to wait until 1 August 2015 to make his debut for the Freiburg reserves. He started against 1. FC Saarbrucken and kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.
Steffen made 14 appearances for Freiburg II in the 2015/16 campaign, but the team finished 15th in the Regionalliga Sudwest and was relegated to the Oberliga, the fifth tier of German football.
Steffen trained with the senior team ahead of the 2016/17 season and reports were that he was set to be their third-choice goalkeeper, but he ultimately opted for a return to the United States with Columbus Crew.
Heading back Stateside
In July 2016, Steffen returned to the US with Columbus Crew as a Discovery Signing. In August, he was loaned to Pittsburgh Riverhounds on a match-by-match basis for the remainder of the 2016 season. He went on to make nine appearances for his loan side.
Steffen was Columbus Crew's starting goalkeeper during the 2017 season and played a crucial role in helping the team qualify for the MLS Cup play-offs, having missed out the previous year.
In the knockout round, Steffen had a superb game against Atlanta United and made eight saves in regulation time and extra time, then a further two in the penalty shootout. Columbus Crew were ultimately eliminated by Toronto FC in the conference finals.
Despite injury and international commitments, Steffen had a superb 2018 season, going 525 minutes without conceding a goal and winning the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year prize. Columbus Crew were eliminated by New York Red Bulls in the conference semi-finals.
Crew accepted a bid reportedly starting at £7million for Steffen's services from Manchester City, with Steffen departing after the match against New York City on 1 June 2019. In total, he kept 26 clean sheets in 84 appearances for Crew.
Zack Steffen and Manchester City
Steffen spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf. The German Bundesliga club's sporting director, Lutz Pfannenstiel, described Steffen as the "perfect example of a modern goalkeeper."
Steffen started Dusseldorf's first 17 matches and earned rave reviews, but then he was kept out of the rest of the season by injuries as the team was relegated.
He returned to City for the 2020/21 season after Claudio Bravo's contract expired. He made his debut in a 2-1 League Cup win over Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium. On 9 December 2020, he kept a clean sheet on his UEFA Champions League debut against Olympique Marseille in a 3-0 win for Manchester City.
Following Ederson's positive COVID-19 test, Steffen made his Premier League debut in a dominant 3-1 away victory over Chelsea. He became the eighth American goalkeeper to start a Premier League game and the first since Brad Guzan in May 2017.
Steffen then kept a clean sheet in the 3-0 FA Cup win over Birmingham City.
Although he is behind Ederson in the Manchester City pecking order, Steffen has said that it is a privilege to serve behind the Brazil international.
"This is my team, this is who I signed for," Steffen told ESPN. "I want to be with them, I want to come in here, learn and get better, push the players and have them push me.
"I want to win trophies and stay here for a while and enjoy the ride.
"I'm just happy to be here.
"I definitely have that competitive nature, I want to play games. I want to get better and I know I can get better.
"I know I have to get better so I'm here to do those things and push my team-mates and have them push me. Iron sharpens iron."
Steffen's international career
Steffen has played for the USA from U-18 international level onwards. In 2015, he was part of their U-20 side at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. At the latter tournament, his penalty save from Jarlan Barrera helped the USA to an upset win over Colombia.
In 2016, Steffen received his senior international call-up for a camp in Puerto Rico, but he had to wait until 2018 to make his debut for the senior USMNT in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Steffen majored in marketing during his time at Maryland. He is the co-founder of VOYCENOW Foundation, a non-profit organization founded with the aim of bringing athletes and fans together in America to fight for racial equality.
Zack Steffen News
- Mar 29, 2021
- Mar 24, 2021