Zack Steffen Finds His New Team — Will It Be Enough For USMNT No. 1 Goalkeeper In Qatar?

Steffen needs to have a hell of a first half of the season.

Zack Steffen is expected to spend the 2022-23 season with EFL Championship club Middlesbrough on loan from Manchester City. The Zack Steffen Middlesbrough loan took place after City decided the American was no longer the best choice as the backup goalkeeper.

Manchester City has ironically found another “Stefan” as the backup and is looking to sign Stefan Ortega from Arminia Bielefeld.

Steffen needed to leave Manchester City if he wants any hope of being the No. 1 goalkeeper for the U.S. at the World Cup. An absolute disaster of a game against Liverpool in the FA Cup semifinal doomed Steffen's future with City.

A move down to the Championship wasn’t ideal, but at least he should get minutes unlike his fellow American goalkeepers who are expected to be backups in the Premier League.

USMNT Goalkeeper Situation

  • Matt Turner — Arsenal (backup)
  • Zack Steffen — Middlesbrough (Expected to be starter)
  • Ethan Horvath — Nottingham Forest (backup)
  • Sean Johnson — NYCFC (starter)

Steffen should fill the No. 1 role at Middlesbrough. 27-year-old Joe Lumley was Middlesbrough’s starting goalkeeper last season with 39 starts, but he’s been loaned out to Reading for the 2022-23 season. The only other goalkeeping competition for Steffen is 34-year-old Luke Daniels who played 13 games as Middlesbrough’s backup last season. Daniels gave up 17 goals in his 13 starts.

The goalkeepers in the best form will get to be on the U.S. plane to Qatar. With Turner and Horvath expected to receive limited minutes this could be Steffen’s best chance to claim the starting role. Johnson isn’t to be overlooked either.