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VIDEO: Incredible long-range chip gives Freiburg lead on Dortmund

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If you’re going to fall a goal down to a bottom-half side, it might as well come on a Puskas Award contender.

Nils Petersen scored his second goal of the game in the 68th minute to put SC Freiburg 2-1 up on Borussia Dortmund, and he did so in stunning fashion, picking Nuri Sahin’s pocket on a back-pass and immediately turning to chip Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki from at least 45 yards out.

Burki was clearly put off by the goalpost as he tracked backwards, caught off guard by the sudden loss of possession and unable to reach the ball placed perfectly into the top corner from a stunning distance.

Absolutely stunning from the 29-year-old. The weight on the shot coupled with the split-second decision to shoot make this one for the highlight reel. The strike is Petersen’s second on the day and 10th on the league season, including his eighth in his last six matches.

Freiburg would go on to win, putting a damper on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s return to the Borussia Dortmund lineup after a pair of Bundesliga matches off amid rumors of his departure.

USMNT prospect Zack Steffen leaves Bundesliga for spot in Columbus

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Columbus Crew have added a potential major piece to their stormy season in Major League Soccer.

Big time USMNT prospect Zack Steffen has returned Stateside from Freiburg, where he was not getting playing time, and will join the Crew.

[ MORE: Steve Bruce quits Hull City ]

Steffen, 22, was set to be the third string keeper at Freiburg, but has been added by Columbus as a “Discovery Signing”.


Steffen has shined during his tenure with the United States youth National Teams, most notably for the Under-20s during the summer of 2015, where he served as the primary goalkeeper at both the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

“Zack is a talented goalkeeper with great potential and someone who has performed on the biggest stages for the United States youth National Teams,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We believe he has a bright future and we look forward to working with him.”

Columbus’ regular starter, Steve Clark, has done fine but the Crew couldn’t pass on the opportunity to sign a player with a legit chance to become a USMNT fixture.

The Crew recently added former Stabaek center back Nico Naess in an effort to stabilize their defense. Naess comes with a big recommendation from ex-coach Bob Bradley.

Less than a year after making a run to the MLS Cup Final, Columbus is five points back of the East’s final playoff spot.

Headed for Bundesliga, US goalkeeper Steffen finds his “perfect situation”

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Ives Galarcep has a solid write-up on former University of Maryland keeper Zack Steffen, who is beginning his professional career with Bundesliga side Freiburg.

The 20-year-old is a top-notch prospect, the sort of player who could reasonably continue the almost inexplicable pathway of American star goalkeepers in Europe.

Whether he can even get to Brad Guzan status, let alone Tim Howard or Kasey Keller, won’t be known for a while, but the comparisons to Howard are already coming from solid places.

[ MORE: US U-20s roster includes Gooch, Gall ]

One of those comparing the two is Tab Ramos, Howard’s post-practice training partner at MetroStars and Steffen’s coach with the US U-20s.


“I can remember Timmy when he first came into the league, he was young and unpolished, but I remember him being able to do special things even then, like diving from one side of the goal to the other in a flash,” Ramos said. “Zack does have that high level of athleticism and potential.”

Sixteen years ago, Howard was a 19-year-old raw talent who would eventually develop into one of the best goalkeepers in U.S. national team history. Steffen is humbled by any comparisons to Howard, but is fully aware of just how much further he has to go to even come close to being worthy of the comparisons.

“I have a long way to go, and a lot to work on, so I don’t put much thought into any kind of labels,” Steffen said. “I just think about what’s next, whether it’s Under-20 qualifying, or going to Germany and starting my career.:

Steffen’s future USMNT competition at goalkeeper ought to be an interesting story to follow. Of course there’s Cody Cropper at Southampton and Bill Hamid at DCU, but also 2015 SuperDraft surefire picks Andrew Wolverton of Penn State and Alex Bono of Syracuse.

And going to play in Jurgen Klinsmann’s home country, regardless of whether he’s going to be in charge by the time Steffen is ready for prime time, shows a bit of wisdom and maturity much older than 20.

University of Maryland goalkeeper to sign with Bundesliga side Freiburg

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One of the brightest talents in America’s youth system is heading overseas.

19-year-old Zack Steffen of the University of Maryland has decided to forgo his final two years of NCAA eligibility to sign with SC Freiburg of Germany’s Bundesliga.

Steffen, a sophomore goalkeeper, has played in every minute of every match during his two years as a Terrapin.

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The 6’2″ Downingtown, PA native has represented the United States internationally throughout his youth career, and cites the United States U18’s victory over the Netherlands as his biggest sports moment.

He was named Defensive Most Valuable Player at the 2013 College Cup as a freshman, despite Maryland losing to Notre Dame in the finals. He was also named defensive MVP in this season’s Big Ten Championships.

Speaking to the University of Maryland’s athletics website, Steffen thanked those who have helped him earn this tremendous opportunity.

My time at Maryland has been nothing short of spectacular. I want to thank my coaches and my teammates for an amazing two years in College Park. While at Maryland, I’ve had a chance to develop both on the field and off and I am excited to take the next step in my soccer career. I’d also like to thank the fans – the best in all of college soccer – for their incredible support.”

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SC Freiburg currently sit in 16th out of 18 teams in the Bundesliga, managing only two wins from their first 14 matches.

Steffen will join fellow American Caleb Stanko at Freiburg, although Stanko is facing a long spell on the sidelines after tearing his ACL in September.