Zack Steffen‘s journey back to Europe has been busier than his first, and he’s handling it well.
The USMNT and Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper, on loan from Manchester City, has faced almost overwhelming action in the Bundesliga and has proven up to the task.
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“We’ve seen again that he is a class goalkeeper,” said Fortuna Dusseldorf managing director Lutz Pfannenstiel. “And we need a class goalkeeper to hold the league.”
He made a thrilling trio of interventions against Borussia Monchengladbach’s Breel Embolo this weekend, nothing new given his early season.
His 33 saves this season are far and away the highest total of any Bundesliga goalkeeper, and 22 of them have come inside the box. The 6.6 saves per game is a higher average than any regular starter in the league by nearly double (Yann Sommer, ‘Gladbach).
Small sample size alert, but Steffen is rated the league’s top goalkeeper by a wide margin by several sites including WhoScored and Sofascore. The passing numbers aren’t yet great, but it’s hard to see how you could expect better given he’s been under the gun just as much as when USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter asked him to play out of the back against Mexico.
Steffen left the University of Maryland for Freiburg in 2015, but soon returned back to Columbus. He established himself as a star with a knack for the dramatic under Berhalter and earned another look abroad.
So far, he’s passing every test.