Steffen representing the United States on June 9, 2019
|Full name||Zackary Thomas Steffen|
|Date of birth||April 2, 1995|
|Place of birth||Coatesville, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
(on loan from Manchester City)
|2000–2008||West Chester United|
|2015–2016||SC Freiburg II||14||(0)|
|2016–2019||Columbus Crew SC||76||(0)|
|2016||→ Pittsburgh Riverhounds (loan)||9||(0)|
|2019–||→ Fortuna Düsseldorf (loan)||17||(0)|
|2012–2013||United States U18||9||(0)|
|2014–2015||United States U20||17||(0)|
|2015||United States U23||4||(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.
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. He switched to become a goalkeeper at the age of 10 after his team's keeper couldn't make it to a game. 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 before transferring to Downingtown West High School, appearing for the Whippets in the fall and playing with DELCO in the spring. With Downingtown, he was named the Ches-Mont League MVP as a senior while earning all-PIAA and all-American honors.
Steffen was one of the first players to come through the Philadelphia Union Academy, playing for the Union U17 team in 2012. 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. 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.
On May 29, 2013, Steffen was officially unveiled as part of Maryland's 2013 recruiting class. He made his collegiate debut on August 30, making three saves as part of a 3–3 draw with no. 20 Stanford. 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. He brought his hot form into the postseason, making five saves to help Maryland win the 2013 ACC Men's Soccer Tournament and earning himself an All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman Team selection. 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. He was named as the tournament's Most Outstanding Defensive Player and earned a spot on the College Cup All-Tournament Team.
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. 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. 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. Steffen left the school in December 2014 to sign professionally in Germany, departing Maryland after playing in 48 games for the Terrapins.
Following his sophomore season at Maryland, Steffen departed the Terrapins and signed a professional contract with German club SC Freiburg. 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. Steffen was named to the bench twice for Freiburg II, but did not make his debut for the reserves until the following season.
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. 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. 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. 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.
Columbus Crew SC
Loan to Pittsburgh
Steffen returned to the United States on July 22, 2016, signing with Major League Soccer club Columbus Crew SC as a Discovery Signing. 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. Steffen joined the Crew after third-string goalie Matt Pacifici had his season ended by concussions,, but was still behind Steve Clark and Brad Stuver on the depth chart. 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. He made his Riverhounds debut that same day, making six saves in a 2–1 victory over Bethlehem Steel FC, 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.
Starter in Columbus
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. He made his club debut in the season opener, making two saves in a 1–1 draw against Chicago Fire. 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. In the knockout round of the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, Steffen "had the game of his life" against Atlanta United. 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. Steffen made 39 total appearances on the season as the Crew were eliminated in the conference finals by Toronto FC.
Steffen missed time during the 2018 season due to international commitments, as well as a mid-season knee injury, but still went on to make 32 total appearances on the year. 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. 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. 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. 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. After tallying a career-high 10 clean sheets on the season, Steffen was named as the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and earned a spot on the MLS Best XI.
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." 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. 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. Steffen departed Columbus with 26 clean sheets from 84 total appearances.
Steffen signed for English club Manchester City on July 9, 2019. 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".
Loan to Dusseldorf
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. 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.
On May 16, 2016, Steffen received his first callup to the United States national team for a camp based in Puerto Rico. 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. 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.
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. 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. He majored in marketing while at Maryland.. He is the oldest of five children, with the others being brothers Ben and Cole.
|Club||Season||League||Domestic Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other[a]||Total|
|SC Freiburg II||2014–15||Regionalliga Südwest||0||0||–||–||–||–||0||0|
|Columbus Crew SC||2016||MLS||0||0||0||0||–||–||–||0||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|
- All appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs
- As of October 15, 2019
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Columbus also will add a backup goalkeeper after placing Matt Pacifici on the season-ending injury list because of lingering concussion issues.
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- Schudel, Ralph (June 6, 2018). "Zack Steffen name MLS Player of the Month for May". MassiveReport.com. SB Nation. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
- Erickson, Andrew (June 29, 2018). "Keeper Zack Steffen makes MLS All-Star team". Dispatch.com. The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
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- 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.
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- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Edwards, John. "Zack Steffen completes loan switch". Manchester City. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
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- "Klinsmann calls 22 players for transition camp and friendly vs. Puerto Rico". USSoccer.com. United States Soccer Federation. May 16, 2016.
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- "Lexi Steffen – West Chester profile". WCUPAGoldenRams.com. West Chester Athletics. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- Zack Steffen at Major League Soccer
- Zack Steffen at National-Football-Teams.com
- "2018 MLS Best XI". MLSSoccer.com. Major League Soccer. November 11, 2018.
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