The current European soccer summer transfer window has more intrigue this year than usual. Players are looking for the right professional club, as always. However, this summer, many are also trying to find the best spot to solidify their national team role ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. That’s exactly what USMNT goalkeeper Zach Steffen is doing. The Pennsylvania native is looking for a loan away from the Premier League champs, Manchester City. He wants to find somewhere he can start in the hopes of earning the USMNT No. 1 role in November.
Zack Steffen is looking for a loan so he can start before joining USMNT for the 2022 World Cup
Former Maryland Terrapins keeper Zack Steffen started his professional career at SC Freiburg in Germany. In 2016, he returned to the States and manned the net for the Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew for three seasons.
His success in MLS (2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year) got him a move to English powerhouse Manchester City. After a brief loan to Fortuna Düsseldorf in Germany, Steffen joined the big club and served as backup to Ederson for two seasons.
Playing behind one of the world’s best and most durable keepers, Steffen only made 21 appearances in all competitions in two campaigns.
That lack of run led to USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner taking over the U.S. No. 1 role. It also led to rust on Steffen. His blunder during an FA Cup Semifinal match vs. Liverpool cost Manchester City a chance at the trophy.
Now, with Turner heading for a possible EPL backup role himself at Arsenal, Steffen sees his chance at earning the No. 1 spot on the USMNT for the 2022 World Cup. To do so, though, he needs regular starts, which is why he is looking for a loan away from City.
If Steffen does leave Manchester City, the club reportedly has a deal in place for a free transfer with former Arminia Bielefeld (a relegated German side) keeper Stefan Ortega.
This is a smart decision for Steffen ahead of the World Cup. The 27-year-old netminder needs regular playing time not just to compete with Turner but possibly even to make the final squad.
Manager Gregg Berhalter will likely only take three keepers to Qatar. And, in addition to Steffen and Turner, NYCFC’s Sean Johnson, Nottingham Forest’s Ethan Horvath, and maybe even Chicago Fire teenage sensation Gaga Slonina are all in the mix.
All stats courtesy of Transfermrkt