Zack Steffen’s Manchester City senior debut was 653 days in the making, and the USMNT backstop picked up a 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the League Cup third round.
Steffen, 25, was bought by Man City in December 2018 and immediately loaned back to his former club the Columbus Crew until Summer 2019, spending the 2019-20 season on loan in the Bundesliga, where he starred in plenty of games for promoted Fortuna before suffering a nagging knee injury.
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The 17-times capped American was not credited with a save in the win but Pep Guardiola will appreciate that Steffen’s 96 percent passing out of the back including an eyebrow-raising 10-of-11 long balls (Stats via WhoScored)
“Well the goal we conceded was almost unstoppable. We didn’t defend the shot properly. After, he saved on a counter attack,” Guardiola said. “He was calm. He was safe. He gave a good performance.”
Those passing numbers are encouraging, even given the Championship competition, and USMNT fans will have been shaken a little bit by some rough play out of the back in the national team shirt.
Steffen was also playing behind a second-choice CIty side with Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Adrian Garcia, Liam Delap, and Thomas Doyle in the XI.
The goalkeeper reacted to his City debut on Twitter after the match.
— Zack Steffen (@zackstef_23) September 24, 2020