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Ethan Horvath joins Luton Town on loan for EFL Championship season


Ethan Horvath is in need of consistent playing time ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the American goalkeeper will head back to the English Football League Championship in order to do so.

Luton Town has added Horvath on loan for the upcoming league season, the club announced Saturday. Horvath, who just earned promotion to the English Premier League with Nottingham Forest, heads back to the Championship following Forest’s loan acquisition of Dean Henderson from Manchester United.

“It was a long journey to get the job done but I’m really happy to be here,” said Horvath. “It has been a fantastic day so far. The people have been really nice, the club has a real family feel to it, which I like. There are good people in the business and you want good people to help you succeed.”  

Luton Town was in need of goalkeeper options due to the long-term absence of projected starter James Shea, who is recovering from a major knee injury. The Hatters sold former starter Simon Sluga in January, but now with Shea injured, Luton added depth to the recent signing of former Hibernian goalkeeper Matt Macey.

Horvath played in 11 matches in all competitions for Nottingham Forest during the 2021-2022 season, serving as the primary backup to Congolese goalkeeper Brice Samba. He posted four clean sheets in Steve Cooper’s squad, while also featuring in the F.A. Cup and League Cup tournaments.

Competing for a place on the U.S. men’s national team World Cup squad is added motivation for Horvath, who finds himself in the wide-open competition for places in Gregg Berhalter’s squad. Matt Turner just completed his move to Arsenal, where he is projected to serve as the main backup to Aaron Ramsdale, while Zack Steffen is reportedly going to join League Championship side Middlesbrough on loan in order to secure consistent playing time ahead of the World Cup.

Horvath turned in a shaky performance for the USMNT in its Concacaf Nations League draw with El Salvador in June, giving up a bad goal in what wound up being a 1-1 draw thanks to a late equalizer by Jordan Morris.

Horvath’s showing against El Salvador didn’t help his case for a World Cup roster spot, but if he can earn regular starts for Luton, he could push himself back into a conversation that includes Steffen, Turner and New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson.


  1. People forget he was the #1 for the u 20s ahead of steffen when they were at the u20 world cup in 15 but wasn’t released cuz he was starting for his club team at 19 or 20 yearsold for Molde. He has gotten a raw deal at brugge and Forrest. He was great for brugge before they brought in the other guy and has been good when given the chance at Forrest and the usmnt except for the one bad one at el salvador. One bad mistake doesn’t make u a bad player hopefully it makes u stronger and work harder and I hope he is the starting GK in wc cuz he steps up in big games like against mexico. How many gk around the world have had hollers, all of them.

    • 14-15: Horvath was the backup at Molde, the starter Nyland got sold and Ethan started 2nd half of season was #2 behind Steffen in U20 WC qualifying in Jan. started 1 match against Aruba. Was the 1st choice for Olympic qualifying in Oct.
      15-16 1st choice for Molde 35 starts Europa League Knockouts
      16-17 Jan transfer to Brugge started final 4 matches.
      17-18 started first 16 matches across all competitions Brugge would use 5 different keepers that season
      18-19 started season as backup, become first choice in October and held it through end of season
      19-20 Mignolet arrives Ethan plays 3 matches
      20-21 plays 4 matches 2 when Mignolet contracts Covid and the final match after Brugge had clinched title
      21-22 11 matches (1 min in promotion final) 7 straight appearances after Samba red carded but loses his spot upon return from international break.
      – The idea he was hard done by Mignolet is a stretch Brugge was never really solid behind him.
      -He was picked by Herzog for U23s over Steffen but Tab preferred Zach for U20s.
      -Ethan’s story has probably benefited by playing in leagues it’s hard to follow, few probably actually know how he played in Belgium or Norway. He has done well in Europa League and Champions League.
      -If he can’t beat out Macey at Luton then that should tell us he’s not good enough for the NT this year.

      • He started 15 games for Molde in 2015 season,, its why he wasn’t released for u 20 world cup.

      • I get that part but in qualifying when he was released Zach was chosen over Horvath. Your statement that he wasn’t released is accurate, that he was ahead of him wasn’t. Both were released for qualifying in Jan 2015 (Norway follows same calendar as MLS Apr.-Nov.) Tab started Zach 5 times and Ethan once. In October 2015 for Olympic Qualifying Ethan wasn’t available until the third match at which time Andy Herzog chose him over Steffen. He was also chosen the following March for the Olympic playoff. Steffen was named for the playoff but must have been hurt because Tyler Miller replaced him.

    • to me the coach has poured so much attention into steffen and turner we don’t really fully understand who the 3rd keeper is or what the fair pecking order really is including people beyond the obvious 4 he’s considering. i think there is even a fair argument horvath, odd mistake and all, is better than steffen now, at his mistake rate. hence how that mexico game went. but the problem with your argument, objectively, is he’s hardly playing anywhere at which point all we can judge is when forest runs him out or he plays ES. i’ve been a big fan and think when “hot” he can shotstop well. but with the lack of playing time one enters a funhouse mirrors space. without issuing some definitive evaluation of him for all time, suffice to say that based on how his forest stint fell apart and how ES went, he’s not playing to spec and making mistakes. either rusty or just not as good as some thought. i’m gonna go with i don’t see him playing well enough since mexico, when he does see a field, to have earned this. and personally i want players earning this and am not sure the 3rd guy should be either him or steffen based on what i have seen. and that’s not easy to say because i was his cheerleader but if you barely play that becomes your objective resume.

    • look i used to be on the horvath train — i think he can be a heck of a shotstopper — but if you barely play and some of those go bad then that’s your objective track record. i think he’s had one good game this cycle and that’s not enough for qatar. to be real, i am not sure steffen has earned it either, or whether he is worse than horvath, but based on what i see he runs too hot and cold like guzan, and one “guzan game” and we’re done. not sure who the 3rd keeper is and kind of blame GB for spending so much of his time on turner and steffen, only one of whom is a sure thing. to me the easy answer is nunya and find someone playing well. i wanted it to be horvath but that ES goal is like what you would score on a bad U16 team back in select. without splitting hairs on how good he really is, he’s not playing to the standard. try again next cycle.

  2. Overall, the bad goal vs El Salvador notwithstanding, the data suggests that for short stretches, against higher end opposition than El Salvador, Horvath is outstanding especially when performing for the USMNT.

    He seems to be able to raise his game for that occasion. I would argue that the entire team was not at their peak level of intensity vs. El Salvador.

    I’m not dumping him for one mistake.

    The club data suggests that perhaps he has trouble over the long haul.

    That’s not a concern for a national team at the World Cup that will play 3-7 games, at most, over a month and a half.

    Based on merit, right now it’s between him and Sean Johnson for the #1 spot.

    Y’all place a ton on emphasis on regular playing time and “sharpness”.

    Of all of them Sean will have the most regular PT and sharpness by the time Qatar rolls around. And not that long ago he shut out the toughest team the USMNT has faced during Berhalter’s time.

    I see zero problems with him as the #1.

    Matt is adequate and the team plays well for him. I also think he can win the job at Arsenal or at least get more PT than most of you think he’s going to get. But he had his best games vs CONCACAF teams which in general are crap. And he got pushed around by Panama.

    Assuming things stay as they are, against tough teams and in tough situations it’s Sean and Ethan who have proven the most.

    This choice will come down to the wire.

  3. Horvath had to do something if he wanted to challenge for a roster spot at the WC. If this loan gets him consistent minutes than he’ll have a chance to overcome the mistake he made in the ES game.

  4. Yeesh two potential WC GK playing in the Championship? Turner will be the #1. I know Steffen is a very good keeper, but Turner is better. Also the US needs to start producing more modern day GK’s or that pipeline will stop going to Europe. Always said Steffen should never had signed with City.

  5. ES toasted him for the Nats barring injuries. not even sure if he would be the first choice alternate after that howler. they’d probably go find someone in MLS. that and this potential move feels like his umpteenth “second string” move. the other guy is bought and was starting. he was a backup and comes in on loan. sounds like he’s keeping the slot warm for the old starter. that being said, macey’s tepid resume is probably the weakest #1 he’s been behind.

    i still think that goal was so bad, and knocked him out of the top 3, so bad that the best this could do is make him viable as an injury replacement. particularly considering steffen also being loaned and i kind of think gunners will kick turner’s tires for a month or so then maybe send him on loan too. this move would have been clever before ES but now it will only match teammates who have passed him up.

  6. If the starter is hurt this seems like a good move in terms of WC. Like Zach to Middlesbrough he’ll get playing time against decent competition.

    • way i see this macey was bought to keep around, start this season if he earns it, since shea is out with the knee. horvath slides into the backup role which is what he was at notts and the end of bruges. on loan. if shea heals in a year they ship horvath back and they see if shea is back enough to knock macey down to backup. if shea isn’t healing then they maybe go buy a starter or judge how macey did. horvath on loan says he’s just a contingency and probably odd man out if macey plays well and shea heals. but who knows. hibernian is meh and maybe the dominos fall right. i still think he could fall into the starting gig and still be in berhalter siberia because that goal was so so bad. near post, flat footed. and i say this as someone who thinks when on he’s a good shot stopper. but one too many brain farts and that seems like a feature and not an occasional bug.

      • I don’t know maybe, Macey has never really shown brightly in his career. Horvath has had big moments in Champions League and Europa League, the Nations League final but he’s had history of switching off like against Portugal and ES. I won’t say there was a mistake that lead to a goal against Wolves in EFL Cup too.

      • here’s the deal. i don’t want him qatar keeper, even as the contingency, because one too many gaffes. “rico clark,” “wondo,” you make a mistake and the tournament is over. that being said i think the people chasing horvath with pitchforks but ignoring steffen need to realize he has gaffes too and is the worst of all 4 on GAA. horvath gives up fewer goals but when he does they are wtf. hence my belief we should be going off script and grabbing an in-form keeper. maybe frei or macmath. to me when a coach is frustrated between obvious options time to try Plan C.

      • Haha Zac McMath, I notice you skipped over Sean Johnson with a better GAA. McMath’s 46.8 passing % is never going to get him invited. And honestly it’s probably part of the reason he’s had to make so many saves.

      • i wasn’t skipping johnson. IMO right now on earned performance it should be turner johnson x. his club numbers are good and his NT appearance was solid. as i pretty clearly said, it’s the 3rd slot that’s open and based on club shoddiness and NT nightmares not sure it should be horvath vs steffen just because we had high hopes for both. this would have been the time to look at ochoa. frei and macmath are good domestically. cohen in haifa might be interesting. on paper steffen should be running laps around everyone but that’s paper and not been reality since he hurt his knee.

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