Zack Steffen comes into the English Premier League season as the No. 2 goalkeeper for Manchester City and very well could make his club debut next week.
Steffen, who is expected to stay with the Citizens this season, is likely to get the nod in goal when Pep Guardiola’s side kicks off play in the Carabao Cup. Ederson remains Guardiola’s No. 1 keeper and likely to feature in every Premier League game this season, but Steffen’s role could be important in cup competitions for the defending League Cup champions.
The 25-year-old spent last season on loan with then-Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf and was the starter for half of the league season. Steffen made 18 league appearances, but a knee injury caused him to miss the second half of the season and unfortunately not help Dusseldorf avoid relegation to the second tier.
With Claudio Bravo leaving the club this summer, Steffen jumped into the backup role in Manchester and is ultimately excited to make an impact with one of the top teams in Europe.
“It was pretty obvious,” Steffen said in an interview with the Manchester Evening News. “Getting games every week for a young goalkeeper is very important. But I signed with City, I wanted to come to City and learn from the best of the best – learn from Pep, learn from [goalkeeper coach] Xabi [Mancisidor] and [goalkeeper coach] Rich [Wright], and learn from Eddie.”
“And then there are all the top players here at this club. I wanted to come to the club – I want to get better, become better. And I believe that in doing that, you got to play with the best.”
Steffen impressed during his time in MLS with the Columbus Crew and has also grabbed the No. 1 job with the USMNT under former club head coach Gregg Berhalter. After 76 league appearances with the Crew, Steffen make the move to Manchester City in 2019, but has yet to make his debut for the 2019 EPL champions.
He’s earned 17 caps for the USMNT to date, edging several goalkeepers to the staring role for his country. Not only has the move to Manchester City helped draw even more notice to Steffen, but it will provide a great opportunity to work with some of the top players and one of the best managers in the world.
“My mindset is just to come in and work really hard, learn every day, get better every day,” Steffen said. “Enjoy the ride. Because it’s short, goes by fast and everything else will fall into line how it’s meant to, how it’s supposed to. But yeah, my mentality is to come and work hard.”
“Leave everything that I have out on the field every day in training, support the guys and just learn from the best.”
Manchester City kicks off its Premier League season at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sept. 21st before facing either Bournemouth or Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup third round on Sept. 24th.
With games coming thick and fast due to the delay in the start of the season, Steffen could see several opportunities to impress Guardiola and his new teammates in the first few months with Man City.