Zack Steffen

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Zack Steffen
Zack Steffen on June 9, 2019.jpg
Steffen representing the United States on June 9, 2019
Personal information
Full name Zackary Thomas Steffen
Date of birth (1995-04-02) April 2, 1995 (age 25)
Place of birth Coatesville, Pennsylvania, United States
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Playing position(s) Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Fortuna Düsseldorf
(on loan from Manchester City)
Number 24
Youth career
2000–2008 West Chester United
2008–2013 FC DELCO
2012 Philadelphia Union
2014–2016 SC Freiburg
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2013–2014 Maryland Terrapins 48 (0)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015–2016 SC Freiburg II 14 (0)
2016–2019 Columbus Crew SC 76 (0)
2016Pittsburgh Riverhounds (loan) 9 (0)
2019– Manchester City 0 (0)
2019–Fortuna Düsseldorf (loan) 17 (0)
National team
2012–2013 United States U18 9 (0)
2014–2015 United States U20 17 (0)
2015 United States U23 4 (0)
2018– United States 17 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 February 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of October 15, 2019

Zackary Thomas Steffen (born April 2, 1995) is an American professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for German club Fortuna Düsseldorf on loan from Manchester City and the United States national team.

Early life[edit]

Born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Steffen began playing soccer at the age of five with local rec league West Bradford Youth Athletics (WBYA). He began his travel soccer career as a defender with local club West Chester United.[1] He switched to become a goalkeeper at the age of 10 after his team's keeper couldn't make it to a game.[2] He joined FC DELCO in 2008, playing for the club in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy through high school. Steffen attended Malvern Preparatory School for his freshman and sophomore years[3] before transferring to Downingtown West High School, appearing for the Whippets in the fall and playing with DELCO in the spring.[4] With Downingtown, he was named the Ches-Mont League MVP as a senior while earning all-PIAA and all-American honors.[5]

Steffen was one of the first players to come through the Philadelphia Union Academy, playing for the Union U17 team in 2012.[6] He was part of the team that won the 2012 Generation Adidas Cup, defeating the Toronto FC Academy in a penalty shootout; the squad also included future pros Connor Maloney, Zach Pfeffer, Drew Skundrich, Brian White, and Zach Zandi, as well as future Penn State kicker Joey Julius, and was coached by Jim Curtin.[7] Steffen was ranked as the no. 1 goalkeeper in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com and committed to play collegiately for coach Sasho Cirovski and the Maryland Terrapins, part of a class that ranked third nationally and also included Alex Crognale, Daniel Johnson, and Chris Odoi-Atsem.[8]

College[edit]

On May 29, 2013, Steffen was officially unveiled as part of Maryland's 2013 recruiting class.[9] He made his collegiate debut on August 30, making three saves as part of a 3–3 draw with no. 20 Stanford.[10] Steffen would go on to play every minute of the Terrapins' 26 games, notably tallying a career-high seven saves in a 1–1 draw with Old Dominion on September 24.[11] He brought his hot form into the postseason, making five saves to help Maryland win the 2013 ACC Men's Soccer Tournament[12] and earning himself an All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman Team selection.[13] In the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament, Steffen made 18 saves in the Terrapins' five matches, helping Maryland make a run to the national championship game; they would fall there to Notre Dame by a 2–1 scoreline.[14] He was named as the tournament's Most Outstanding Defensive Player and earned a spot on the College Cup All-Tournament Team.[15]

As Maryland transitioned to the Big Ten Conference in 2014, Steffen kept his place and again played every minute in goal for the Terrapins over their 22 matches. He conceded just 19 goals on the season, keeping nine shutouts as the Terrapins claimed the Big Ten regular season title in their first year in the conference.[16] Steffen made nine saves in the 2014 Big Ten Conference Men's Soccer Tournament, as well as two denials during a penalty shootout in the semifinals, and was tabbed as the tournament's Most Valuable Defensive Player.[17] His last collegiate game, however, saw the Terrapins eliminated in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Tournament by UMBC.[18] Steffen left the school in December 2014 to sign professionally in Germany, departing Maryland after playing in 48 games for the Terrapins.[19]

Club career[edit]

Freiburg[edit]

Following his sophomore season at Maryland, Steffen departed the Terrapins and signed a professional contract with German club SC Freiburg.[20] He arrived at the club midway through the 2014–15 season and was assigned to SC Freiburg II, the club's reserve team playing in the fourth-tier Regionalliga Südwest.[21] Steffen was named to the bench twice for Freiburg II, but did not make his debut for the reserves until the following season.[22]

On August 1, 2015, Steffen debuted for the Freiburg reserves with a start against 1. FC Saarbrücken; he kept a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw.[23] He earned his first victory with the side on September 26, marking his fifth appearance with a 2–0 victory over SV Saar 05 Saarbrücken.[22] Steffen went on to make 14 appearances for Freiburg II during the 2015–16 season, although the club finished in 15th place in the Regionalliga Südwest and was relegated to the Oberliga.[24] Ahead of the 2016–17 SC Freiburg season, Steffen was training with the senior team; reports out of Germany stated that he would be Freiburg's third-choice goalkeeper for the upcoming season, behind presumed starter Alexander Schwolow and Patric Klandt.[25][26]

Columbus Crew SC[edit]

Loan to Pittsburgh[edit]

Steffen returned to the United States on July 22, 2016, signing with Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew SC as a Discovery Signing.[27][23] Although he had previously played for the Union Academy, he had not logged enough training time with Philadelphia to qualify as a Homegrown Player and had never been offered a contract by the Union.[28] Steffen joined the Crew after third-string goalie Matt Pacifici had his season ended by concussions,[29], but was still behind Steve Clark and Brad Stuver on the depth chart.[30] After appearing once on the bench for the Crew, Steffen was sent on loan to United Soccer League club Pittsburgh Riverhounds on August 13. The loan was on a match-by-match basis for the remainder of the 2016 season.[31] He made his Riverhounds debut that same day, making six saves in a 2–1 victory over Bethlehem Steel FC,[32] and would go on to make nine appearances on the year for Pittsburgh. Steffen additionally was named to the bench three times for the Crew without making an appearance.[22]

Starter in Columbus[edit]

Ahead of the 2017 season, Steffen was named as the Crew's starting goalkeeper after beating out Stuver and Logan Ketterer to win the job.[33] He made his club debut in the season opener, making two saves in a 1–1 draw against Chicago Fire.[34] He wouldn't relinquish the job, starting all 34 regular season games for the Crew and leading the club to an MLS Cup Playoffs berth after missing out in 2016. Along the way, he twice tallied a career-high seven saves: against Orlando City on August 19 and New York City FC on October 22.[35] In the knockout round of the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, Steffen "had the game of his life" against Atlanta United.[36] He made eight saves through 120 minutes of regulation and extra time, then saved two shots during the shoot-out as the Crew advanced 3–1 on penalties.[37][30][38] Steffen made 39 total appearances on the season as the Crew were eliminated in the conference finals by Toronto FC.[22]

Steffen missed time during the 2018 season due to international commitments, as well as a mid-season knee injury,[39] but still went on to make 32 total appearances on the year.[22] In one nine-match stretch, ranging from a victory over San Jose Earthquakes on April 28 to a defeat against Atlanta on June 13, Steffen recorded a 525-minute shutout streak, the longest in Crew history.[40] He appeared in seven of those nine matches, missing two while on international duty. He was named to the roster for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game against Italian club Juventus, the first Crew player selected to take part in the All-Star Game since Wil Trapp in 2016.[41] Steffen replaced starting goalie Brad Guzan at halftime and made two saves, but failed to make a stop in the penalty shoot-out as Juventus scored on all five kicks.[42] In the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, Steffen repeated his heroics from the previous year: against D.C. United in the knockout round, he saved two kicks in the penalty shoot-out as the Crew advanced.[43] After tallying a career-high 10 clean sheets on the season, Steffen was named as the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year[44] and earned a spot on the MLS Best XI.[45]

During the summer of 2018, Steffen had been the subject of a $3.9 million offer from English club Bristol City; the Crew turned down the offer, however, saying that replacing Steffen midseason "would have been difficult, if not impossible."[46] Following the season, however, a bid starting at £7 million arrived from fellow English club and defending Premier League champions Manchester City and was accepted by the Crew. As per the agreement, Steffen would remain in Columbus through the opening of the summer transfer window in Major League Soccer.[47] He appeared 13 times in his final half-season with the Crew, playing his final game for the club on June 1, 2019 against New York City FC.[48] Steffen departed Columbus with 26 clean sheets from 84 total appearances.[22]

Manchester City[edit]

Steffen signed for English club Manchester City on July 9, 2019.[49] The transfer, for a fee that was estimated at $7 million, was agreed by the two clubs on December 11, 2018; Steffen remained with Columbus until the opening of the summer transfer window in Major League Soccer before moving abroad. Although the exact fee was not reported, Crew SC said it was "the largest in club history and most ever received by an MLS club for a goalkeeper".[50]

Loan to Dusseldorf[edit]

It was announced on July 9 that Steffen would be sent on loan to Fortuna Düsseldorf in the Bundesliga for the 2019–20 season.[51]

International career[edit]

Steffen was the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. under-20 side at the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.[52] On June 10, 2015, his save on a penalty kick attempted by Jarlan Barrera helped the U.S. to an upset of Colombia in the Round of 16 of the World Cup.[53]

On May 16, 2016, Steffen received his first callup to the United States national team for a camp based in Puerto Rico.[54] Steffen did not make an appearance, but in January 2018, he was called again into camp for a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, against which he made his debut. He made his second appearance in a friendly against Paraguay, recording his first clean sheet in a 1–0 victory, on March 27, 2018, at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.[55] On June 9, 2018 at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon, Steffen notched seven saves against eventual 2018 FIFA World Cup champions France, including back-to-back saves in the dying seconds of stoppage time against Nabil Fekir and Ousmane Dembélé, as the United States drew France 1–1.[56]

Personal life[edit]

Steffen's sister, Katy, played college softball at Penn State University's Brandywine campus. His other sister, Lexy, briefly played collegiate soccer at West Chester University, appearing in one game in 2015 as a goalkeeper.[57] Zack Steffen has the phrase "forever my family", as well as four German words, tattooed on his rib cage in honor of his four younger siblings.[3] He majored in marketing while at Maryland.[5]. He is the oldest of five children, with the others being brothers Ben and Cole.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of October 20, 2019[22][58]
Club Season League Domestic Cup League Cup Continental Other[a] Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
SC Freiburg II 2014–15 Regionalliga Südwest 0 0 0 0
2015–16 Regionalliga Südwest 14 0 14 0
Total 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
Columbus Crew SC 2016 MLS 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 34 0 0 0 5 0 39 0
2018 29 0 0 0 3 0 32 0
2019 13 0 0 0 13 0
Total 76 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 84 0
Pittsburgh Riverhounds (loan) 2016 USL 9 0 0 0 9 0
Fortuna Düsseldorf (loan) 2019–20 Bundesliga 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18 0
Career total 107 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 116 0
  1. ^ All appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs

International[edit]

As of October 15, 2019[59]
United States
Year Apps Goals
2018 6 0
2019 11 0
Total 17 0

Honors[edit]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christian Pulisic, Daniel Lovitz, Zack Steffen Called Into USMNT For March Friendlies". EPYSA.org. Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer. March 12, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Santaromita, Dan (July 16, 2018). "Rising: Zack Steffen". USSoccer.com. United States Soccer Federation. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Needelman, Joshua (October 31, 2014). "Keeping It Cool". DBKNews.com. The Diamondback. Archived from the original on August 12, 2018. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  4. ^ Ralph, Matthew (November 27, 2018). "Chester County native Zack Steffen reportedly moving to Manchester City". BrotherlyGame.com. SB Nation. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Zack Steffen – Maryland profile". UMTerps.com. Maryland Athletics.
  6. ^ DeGeorge, Matthew (July 22, 2016). "Former Union Academy goalie Steffen signs with Columbus". DelcoTimes.com. Delaware County Daily Times. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Ralph, Matthew (April 12, 2017). "Where Are They Now? Philadelphia Union's 2012 GA Cup Roster". BrotherlyGame.com. SB Nation. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
  8. ^ J.R. Eskilson and Travis Clark (February 7, 2013). "2013 recruiting class rankings: Boys". TopDrawerSoccer.com. TopDrawerSoccer.com. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  9. ^ "Men's Soccer Introduces 2013 Rookie Class". UMTerps.com. Maryland Athletics. May 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  10. ^ Eskilson, J.R. (August 31, 2013). "Stanford, Maryland battle to 3–3 draw". TopDrawerSoccer.com. TopDrawerSoccer.com. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  11. ^ Carton, Todd (September 25, 2013). "Terps dominate the stat sheet but tie on the scoreboard". TestudoTimes.com. SB Nation. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  12. ^ Lee, Edward (November 17, 2013). "Maryland men's soccer team tops Virginia, 1–0, for ACC title". BaltimoreSun.com. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Roth, Ben (December 14, 2013). "Sensational Steffen Seems Poised For National Championship". CollegeSoccerNews.com. College Soccer News. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  14. ^ Goff, Steven (December 15, 2013). "College Cup: Maryland falls to Notre Dame, 2–1, in NCAA men's soccer championship". WashingtonPost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Goff, Steven (December 11, 2013). "NCAA men's soccer: Maryland's Zack Steffen at the center of attention at College Cup". WashingtonPost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  16. ^ Nazar, Jake (November 5, 2014). "Maryland Men's Soccer: Big Ten Champs. Maryland beats Rutgers 3–2". TestudoTimes.com. SB Nation. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  17. ^ Carton, Todd (November 26, 2014). "Terps soccer wins second hat and trophy - Claim B1G Tournament Title over Hoosiers 2–1". TestudoTimes.com. SB Nation. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  18. ^ Goff, Steven (November 23, 2014). "NCAA: UMBC stuns Maryland, while Virginia teams and Georgetown advance". WashingtonPost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  19. ^ "Steffen Signs with SC Freiburg of Bundesliga". UMTerps.com. Maryland Athletics. December 12, 2014.
  20. ^ SI Wire (December 12, 2014). "Maryland, U.S. GK Zack Steffen signs with Bundesliga's SC Freiburg". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Sciaretta, Brian (January 28, 2015). "Zack Steffen Talks U-20 World Cup and Freiburg". AmericanSoccerNow.com. American Soccer Now. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Zack Steffen at Soccerway. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "U.S. youth int'l Steffen joins Columbus Crew SC". CONCACAF.com. CONCACAF. July 22, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "2015–16 Regionalliga Südwest table". WeltFussball.de (in German). HEIM:SPIEL Medien GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "Schon elf Abgänge - Steffen dritter Keeper" [Already eleven departures - Steffen third keeper]. Kicker.de (in German). kicker. June 29, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  26. ^ Parchman, Will (June 2016). "Zack Steffen is moving up the ladder in Germany with Freiburg". TopDrawerSoccer.com. TopDrawerSoccer.com.
  27. ^ Tolmich, Ryan (July 22, 2016). "Crew add U.S. U-23 goalkeeper Zack Steffen". SBISoccer.com. SBI Soccer.
  28. ^ Tannenwald, Jonathan (July 22, 2016). "Zack Steffen, Downingtown-bred ex-Union goalkeeper prospect, joins Columbus Crew". Inquirer.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  29. ^ Reed, Tom (July 21, 2016). "As expected, Crew signs Norwegian defender Nicolai Naess". Dispatch.com. The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved July 8, 2019. Columbus also will add a backup goalkeeper after placing Matt Pacifici on the season-ending injury list because of lingering concussion issues.
  30. ^ a b Murphy, Pat (June 1, 2019). "A move to the Crew renewed Zack Steffen's passion for soccer". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  31. ^ Riverhounds Staff (August 13, 2016). "Riverhounds add Steffen on loan from Crew SC". Riverhounds.com. Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  32. ^ "Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2–1 Bethlehem Steel FC". USLChampionship.com. United Soccer League. August 13, 2016.
  33. ^ Murphy, Pat (March 2, 2017). "Zack Steffen named Columbus Crew SC's starting goalkeeper". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation.
  34. ^ Guldan, Patrick (March 4, 2017). "Columbus Crew SC vs. Chicago Fire: Game Time, TV Schedule, Live Stream, Lineup". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  35. ^ "Zack Steffen – Columbus Crew SC profile". ColumbusCrewSC.com. Columbus Crew SC. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  36. ^ Schwin, Payson (October 27, 2017). "Crew SC's Zack Steffen after huge win: "We wanted to shut the crowd up"". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  37. ^ Baer, Benjamin (October 26, 2017). "Atlanta United 0 (1), Columbus Crew SC 0 (3) | MLS Cup Playoffs Recap". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer.
  38. ^ Creditor, Avi (October 26, 2017). "Steffen Saves Crew in Atlanta, Sends Columbus Through in MLS Playoff Classic". SI.com. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  39. ^ Murphy, Pat (June 21, 2018). "Zack Steffen out vs. Los Angeles FC with knee injury". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  40. ^ Schudel, Ralph (June 6, 2018). "Zack Steffen name MLS Player of the Month for May". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  41. ^ Erickson, Andrew (June 29, 2018). "Keeper Zack Steffen makes MLS All-Star team". Dispatch.com. The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  42. ^ Galarcep, Ives (August 1, 2018). "Steffen can't repeat Atlanta penalty shootout heroics in MLS All-Star defeat". Goal.com. Goal. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  43. ^ Tannenwald, Jonathan (November 2, 2018). "Zack Steffen's MLS playoffs heroics remind everyone why the Coatesville native is a star goalkeeper". Inquirer.com. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  44. ^ a b Bogert, Tom (November 6, 2018). "Crew SC's Zack Steffen named 2018 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  45. ^ Guldan, Patrick (November 11, 2018). "Zack Steffen lands on MLS Best XI". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  46. ^ Carlisle, Jeff (July 19, 2018). "Columbus Crew SC turns down Bristol City's offer for Zack Steffen". ESPN.com. ESPN. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  47. ^ Crew SC Communications (December 11, 2018). "Columbus Crew SC reaches historic 2019 secondary transfer window agreement for goalkeeper Zack Steffen". ColumbusCrewSC.com. Columbus Crew SC. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  48. ^ Ferree, Ben (June 1, 2019). "Columbus Crew draw NYCFC 2–2 in Zack Steffen's farewell game". ProSoccerUSA.com. Pro Soccer USA. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  49. ^ Clayton, David (December 11, 2018). "U.S. no.1 Zack Steffen to join City in the summer". ManCity.com. Manchester City F.C. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  50. ^ Goff, Steven (December 11, 2018). "Zack Steffen talks about deal with Manchester City: 'It's been a wild journey'". WashingtonPost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  51. ^ Edwards, John. "Zack Steffen completes loan switch". Manchester City. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  52. ^ Keller, Kasey (June 19, 2015). "U.S. prospects blog: Future bright for goalkeeper Zack Steffen". ESPN.com. ESPN.
  53. ^ Goff, Steven (June 10, 2015). "U.S. U-20s advance to World Cup quarterfinals". WashingtonPost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  54. ^ "Klinsmann calls 22 players for transition camp and friendly vs. Puerto Rico". USSoccer.com. United States Soccer Federation. May 16, 2016.
  55. ^ "Sarachan Calls 30 Player Roster to National Training Center for 2018 January Camp". USSoccer.com. United States Soccer Federation. January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
  56. ^ "Zack Steffen made Maryland proud with his performance against France". DBKNews.com. The Diamondback. June 10, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  57. ^ "Lexi Steffen – West Chester profile". WCUPAGoldenRams.com. West Chester Athletics. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  58. ^ Zack Steffen at Major League Soccer
  59. ^ Zack Steffen at National-Football-Teams.com
  60. ^ "2018 MLS Best XI". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer. November 11, 2018.

External links[edit]