U.S men’s national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen has been loaned out by Manchester City to Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Steffen, 24, was bought by Man City in December and immediately loaned back to his former club the Columbus Crew until this summer.
Fortuna announced on Tuesday that following Steffen being the USMNT’s number one goalkeeper for the 2019 Gold Cup he will spend the 2019-20 campaign on loan with them in the Bundesliga.
“I am really looking forward to returning to Germany and becoming part of such a traditional club,” Steffen said about the move.
Fortuna’s sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel, who was a legendary goalkeeper himself, is delighted that Steffen has arrived.
“Zack Steffen is a modern goalkeeper who brings everything. He is technically very well educated, strong in one-on-one situations and footballing outstanding. Not without reason has Manchester City decided to sign Zack Steffen on a long-term basis,” Pfannenstiel said.
This return to Germany makes sense for Steffen. Ederson is the first-choice goalkeeper at Man City and Claudio Bravo is still around too with Daniel Grimshaw highly thought of. Ari Muric, another promising young goalkeeper, has signed a new deal at City and has been loaned out to Nottingham Forest, so there is plenty of competition for Steffen to get anywhere near the Man City first team.
Steffen came up through the youth ranks at SC Freiburg before heading to Columbus in 2016 where the former University of Maryland goalkeeper became a regular in MLS in 2017.
He will challenge Fortuna’s Michael Rensing and Raphael Wolf for the starting spot in goal for the team who finished in 10th place in the Bundesliga last season. That was a very good campaign for a newly-promoted side, as fellow USMNT man Alfredo Morales will help Steffen settle in.
Zack Steffen is currently on international duty with the United States, but he may have more clarity on his club future heading into next season.
After leaving the Columbus Crew for a move to Manchester City, the 24-year-old goalkeeper will head out on loan to Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf to begin the next European season, according to a report by Paul Tenorio of The Athletic.
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Steffen played his last game for the Crew last week and joined Manchester City in a deal worth $10 million. He was widely expected to spend this season on loan, not yet considered close to challenging for a spot in the Man City first-team squad.
According to Tenorio, Dusseldorf executives are flying to Washington D.C. to meet up with Steffen and his representatives at USMNT camp to finalize the deal. At the Bundesliga club, Steffen will link up with fellow U.S. international Alfredo Morales who joined in 2018 after five seasons at Ingolstadt. He will compete with starting goalkeeper Michael Rensing who amassed nearly 3,000 minutes across all competitions while leading the team to a 10th placed finish in the Bundesliga table.
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Steffen was asked after his final Crew game what his expectations are for his club future, and he was non-committal, but said he hopes to earn playing time wherever he lands. “We’re still figuring all that out,” he told reporters after USMNT training at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. “What’s important for young goalkeepers is games, high-level games, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Steffen has instilled himself as the preferred choice for the starting goalkeeper job with the United States national team, with the USMNT looking to transition away from aging goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. He has just eight international caps but looks to be the leading candidate for most high-leverage games in the near future.
Borussia Dortmund’s unbeaten league season is over, stopped at the hands of an unlikely conqueror.
Fortuna Dusseldorf scored twice in the first hour to take advantage of the super sleepy leaders, who could only manage a late Paco Alcacer goal at the Espirit Arena.
[ MORE: Steffen wins USMNT award ]
USMNT winger Christian Pulisic went 90 minutes for BVB, setting up a goal that was called back for offside and also earning a yellow card.
Both of the hosts’ goals were fantastic in the 2-1 win, the first a long dribble from young Belgian wizard Dodi Lukembakio and the second this hammer of Thor from defender Jean Zimmer.
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Nurnberg
Hertha Berlin 2-2 Augsburg
Wolfsburg 2-0 Stuttgart
Schalke vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Werder Bremen vs. Hoffenheim
Freiburg vs. Hannover 96
Bayern Munich vs. RB Leipzig
Mainz vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals, goals, goals: The Bundesliga returned from international break with a fury, with only 1-0 in the seven matches staged Friday and Saturday.
[ MORE: Spurs thump Chelsea ]
The fact that a 2-1 win from leaders Borussia Dortmund gets pushed down to the “Elsewhere” portion of our wrap-up shows you the nutty nature of the day.
Bayern Munich 3-3 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Bayern is now nine points off of first place BVB following a Dodi Lukebakio-inspired loss at the Allianz Arena.
Thomas Muller scored twice as Bayern held 2-0 and 3-1 leads, the latter with just over a half-hour to play.
But Lukebakio finished off his hat trick with goals in the 77th minute and third minute of stoppage time to send Bayern’s winless league run to three matches.
Augsburg 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
There’s a new second place side, at least until Sunday, as Eintracht built a three-goal lead starting with a first minute goal from Canadian midfielder Jonathan De Guzman. Star strikers Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic also scored in the win.
Schalke 5-2 Nurnberg
It was 2-1 to the hosts when Nurnberg went down a man through Robery Bauer’s second yellow card. Schalke took further control through Guido Burgstaller, and scored twice in the final 10 minutes to salt away a fourth win of the season.
American winger Haji Wright made his Schalke senior debut in the 88th minute, getting three touches and completing both of his passes in the cameo. The 20-year-old has six goals and three assists for Schalke II, earning his first spot in a match day 18 since 2017.
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 Stuttgart — Friday
Mainz 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Wolfsburg 1-0 RB Leipzig
Hertha Berlin 3-3 Hoffenheim
Freiburg vs. Werder Bremen — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Hannover 96 — Noon ET Sunday
Six Bundesliga teams remain unbeaten through three matches in league play to start the season, and it could be seven on Sunday if Werder Bremen keeps Nurnberg amongst the group six without wins.
[ MORE: Man Utd beats Watford ]
Bayern Munich 3-1 Bayer Leverkusen
An early penalty raised eyebrows, but the perennial champions removed the alarm as Corentin Tolisso and Arjen Robben had Bayern on top by the end of the 19th minute. James Rodriguez scored in the 89th minute salt away the win, moving Bayern to 3-0 in league play under Niko Kovac.
Bayer is now 0-3 to start the Bundesliga season.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 Hoffenheim
USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales scored his first Bundesliga goal since Dec. 2016, and his new club Fortuna Dusseldorf scooped up its first win of this stint in Germany’s top flight. Dodi Lukebakio scored the winner with an 88th minute penalty kick after Arsenal loanee Reiss Nelson equalized for the visitors.
RB Leipzig 3-2 Hannover 96
Timo Werner scored in each half and Yussuf Poulsen also scored for RBL, a much needed first win after a draw and loss in the first two matches.
Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt — Friday
Mainz 2-1 Augsburg
Wolfsburg 2-2 Hertha Berlin
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Schalke
Werder Bremen vs. Nurnberg
Freiburg vs. Stuttgart