Top Stories

Zack Steffen officially loaned to Fortuna Dusseldorf

Zack Steffen is officially heading to the Bundesliga on-loan.

Fortuna Dusseldorf announced the acquisition of the U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper from Manchester City. The Athletic originally reported the move in June.

Steffen, 24, is coming off Gold Cup duty with the USMNT, in which he played he featured in five of six matches.

He leaves MLS side Columbus Crew, where he was named to the league’s Best XI in 2018 and was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

Steffen totaled 76 regular season appearances with the Crew from 2016-19 and also appeared in eight playoff matches.

This will not be Steffen’s first time in the Bundesliga after appearing for Freiburg II following two seasons with the University of Maryland.

Dusseldorf is coming off a 10th-place finish in the Bundesliga last season, totaling 44 points in 34 matches. Steffen is expected to see first-team action with the club.


  1. Steffens was never good enough to compete for minutes for the two-time EPL champions and 2019-2020 CL contenders (assuming City doesn’t get the European ban they deserve). It was always clear City were going to loan him out. City mostly hope that Steffen’s play is excellent and his transfer values goes up so they can re-sell the asset for a profit. Steffens no doubt got a pay-increase, and another chance at actual top-flight football, the pressures this entails and the opportunities it provides.

    I applaud him for taking the risk of returning to Europe after his first journey did not work as planned. If all the stars align, Steffen’s could find himself actually playing for City in 18-24 months. If it all goes south, he can always return to MLS via the “Re-Entry Lottery System/Draft/wage-suppression” mechanism.

  2. I realize the Euroidiots love these moves. But let’s face it. He is playing for NOTHING now.
    This isn’t US-Mexico for all the marbles.
    This isn’t trying to win MLS Cup and you single handedly kept Columbus in the playoffs.
    This is, make a mistake, no big deal, we will still finish 8th-13th.
    Hope he got great money to compensate.

    • Not sure what you’re definition of “playing” is but the notion that he’s got no pressure on him or will simply be coasting misses well wide of the mark:

      (1) He will be fighting for starting time;

      (2) He’s on a loan so he’ll need to impress (a) if he wants to return and actually play at Man City or (b) turn this into another loan or permanent move to a bigger club (that’s not at Man City’s level).

      (3) If he does not play or does not play well, he will likely lose his starting spot on the USMNT and with it a bunch of perks.

      (4) If they’re relegated, that doesn’t look so hot for him and reduces the likelihood it turns into a permanent move or a springboard to another European club.

      I would think that would be incentive enough . . .

      • you’d be right if MLS wasn’t and still is the main contributor to the USMNT, a tream that aside from missing out the last edition had been to 6 straight, topping a group that had England in it, was second in the group of death, but more importantly always made it to at least the knockout rounds(2006 was the outlier). You can’t blame MLS for it’s failures, although i know that’s the cute, popular thing to do nowadays. Success is down to the players and management, and last cycle there were failures all across the board

    • He started off at Freiburg, came back to Columbus, and now in reality off to Fortuna. Moved three slots up the B.1. The Eurosnobs were all “start for a champion” and “CL football.” But in reality, “midtable.” If there is an upside, I think his game has gotten a little cute and B.1 will take the silly out of it. They will not laugh off the distribution errors or playing along with form swoons.

  3. Dusseldorf has 5 other goalkeepers on their roster, including last year’s starter. I have no idea where Steffen stands relative to the others, but I wouldn’t assume he’s an automatic starter.

    The question isn’t why did Man City loan him out, but why did they buy him in the first place? Do they really think he can play for them a few years down the road, or was this purely an investment where they hope they can sell him at a profit in a year or two?

    • My understanding is that it helps with Financial Fair Play (I don’t know why). They probably have little intention of him ever playing for City and just hope to loan him out and sell him later for (hopefully) a higher price. If he ever reaches the level needed to play for City great but that’s unlikely.

    • 3 of those GKs are under 23 with basically no first team experience. Wolf is 31 and played 1 match last year against a 4th tier side and then was listed out for the rest of the season with a viral infection. The starter last year is 35, they gave up a ton of goals last season.

    • I hope that is rhetorical. Own an asset. Sell shirts. There is a whole list of City and Spurs and Chelsea players — nominally — in our pool. I don’t think it really helps because they without fail go on loan, and often enough, rotate around to different teams, meaning if A loan works then B loan the following season maybe doesn’t. eg, Miazga supposedly did well in Holland, disappeared in France. It is both a benefit and a big curse that US players are ambitious to the point so much of the team is on loan or riding pine. And you now have a foolish NT coach who thinks that a mediocre regular from the Fire is better than a highly prized loan player from PSG. So this has real implications.


Leave a Comment