Zack Steffen did not dress for Manchester City’s match at Southampton last Saturday and now his status for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers remains in doubt due to an ailment that has cost him playing time in qualifying before.
Steffen has yet to travel to Columbus, Ohio due to back tightness and his status remains day-to-day, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. Steffen is one of four goalkeepers called in by U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter, but he could be forced to stay in Manchester with the USMNT’s first match this window coming on Thursday.
Steffen has made six starts for Pep Guardiola’s side this season, registering one clean sheet in English Premier League play. The Pennsylvania native has totaled eight clean sheets for the English club in 18 career appearances.
On the international level, Steffen has started the past three of the USMNT’s eight qualifying matches in the octagonal round after missing the start of the Octagonal with back spasms and then Covid. Steffen helped the USMNT to victories over Costa Rica and Mexico in October and November respectively, while also starting in a 1-1 road draw with Jamaica.
Steffen earned seven caps for the USMNT in 2021, while New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner starred at the Concacaf Gold Cup success last summer before impressing in the first five matches of the Octagonal. Turner finished 2021 with nine national team shutouts, a new USMNT record.
New York City FC standout and MLS Cup MVP Sean Johnson, and Chicago Fire teenager Gabriel Slonina in the squad, are also in camp as goalkeepers alongside Turner.
The USMNT hosts El Salvador on Thursday at Lower.com Field before traveling to Canada on Sunday, and hosting Honduras on Feb. 2 in Minnesota.