USMNT No. 1 Zack Steffen Heads To Fortuna Dusseldorf On Loan

Throughout the decades of ups and downs in U.S. Soccer, there has always been one thing that fans of the men’s national team have been able to count on: a good goalie between the sticks. Tim Howard, Kasey Keller, and Tony Meola each earned at least 100 caps since 1988, and a host of dependable reserve keepers since that year has kept the position completely solid. 

Until recently.

As Harrison Hamm recently pointed out here on FloFC, the so-called “lost generation” of U.S. Soccer — the gaping hole in between the Howard-Landon Donovan-Clint Dempsey contingent and the ascendant Christian Pulisic-Weston McKennie-Tyler Adams group — has been felt most palpably in the lack of a clearly defined No. 1. 

Zack Steffen, Gregg Berhalter’s top choice for keeper thus far, has a chance to grab that spot and lock it down for years to come; at 24 years old he’s still very young for the position, and there’s no doubt he’s talented. 

But he’s got a ton to prove on both the international level and certainly the club level. Having just completed a season-long loan to Fortuna Dusseldorf from Manchester City, Steffen is back in Germany where he started his career and in a prime position to log heavy first-team Bundesliga minutes. 

In fact, Dusseldorf’s first preseason games are coming up shortly, and they’ll be streamed right here on FloFC for U.S. and Canadian viewers. 

Here’s what he can do: 





Steffen’s nascent career really has no shortage of highlight-reel reaction saves, and that speaks to the instincts he’s got built inside him. He’s not a shot-stopper in the vein of someone like Thibaut Courtois, though. Steffen is able to scamper about a bit more, and he’s not afraid to get off his line to track down a loose ball — way off his line, as the case sometimes may be.



Where Steffen has struggled is in consistency and in possession. At this point in his career, he isn’t going to be mistaken for a younger Manuel Neuer. In both of the friendlies before the Gold Cup, Steffen made egregious mistakes that either almost or did lead to goals from the opposition. 

This isn’t good at all: 



None of this is to say, though, that Steffen can’t distribute well. Here’s a good and thorough clip of his passing against Paraguay last year:



To be honest, what Steffen needs right now is reps. Minutes. And he needs minutes outside of Major League Soccer, and definitely outside of the woeful side that is the Columbus Crew. While his journey to the No. 1 jersey for Manchester City may seem like an insurmountable task at this point — in all likelihood he’ll never play a minute for Pep Guardiola’s squad — his journey to being Tim Howard’s sustained successor is more feasible, and a road through the Bundesliga looks like a prudent one.

Don’t forget to tune into Steffen’s first minutes with Dusseldorf here on FloFC.

Berhalter With A Decision To Make, Canada's Vicious Attack & A Growing Cuba

null

Group A of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League offers no shortage of intriguing storylines. 

D.C. United Can't Overcome Reyna's First Half Goal, Fall 1-0 To 'Caps

With Wayne Rooney back in the lineup, D.C. United could not turn a plethora of shots into a goal on Saturday night, falling 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. Yordy Reyna scored the game's only goal in the 18th minute, as United failed to pick up their first two-game winning streak since May. The loss dropped the Black-and-Red down into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of rivals the New York Red Bulls, who come to town on Wednesday.

D.C. United Begin Busy Week With Visit To Face Vancouver Whitecaps

The New Look D.C. United

After scraping together a much-needed 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy on Sunday, D.C. United will look to make it two wins in a row tonight when they travel to Canada to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Black-and-Red haven't won two games in a row since May 4 and May 12, when they took down the Columbus Crew and Sporting Kansas City in back-to-back games at Audi Field. The win over LA last weekend catapulted United back into third place in the Eastern Conference, despite just three wins in their past 14 games.

Concacaf Legends: Honduras' Left Back For Over A Decade, Emilio Izaguirre

Sometimes, it's hard to go back home. 

Clint Dempsey Forged A Career & Persona Unlike Any Other US International

Small-town Texan. Bass fisherman. Rapper. Premier League star. World Cup hero.

League C Brings Caribbean Nations Trying To Climb The Concacaf Ladder

null

The inaugural Concacaf Nation kicks off in less than a month and in League C — the lowest tier of the competition — are 13 nations aiming to grow and gain promotion to League B in the next edition. The tournament is the first of its kind involving all 41 teams in the region and is a welcomed opportunity for many of the participants to convene and take part in more competitive matches than ever before, seven of which FIFA President Gianni Infantino recently visited to assess the development of the sport in the Caribbean.

El Salvador, Jamaica vs Guyana & A Potential Upset Team Highlight League B

null

League B of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League has a couple of surprising teams to go along with several teams that could vie for a promotion spot, against all odds. Despite finishing Nations League qualifying on the same amount of points as three teams that ended up in League A, Jamaica and El Salvador fell to League B by virtue of their goal differential over the four qualifying games. 

Balanced Group C Offers Best Fight In League A Of Concacaf Nations League

null

Just around the corner, the Concacaf Nations League tournament hits the group stage for the first installment of the tournament. After the qualifying stage that took place at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, the 41 teams in the region have been split up into three leagues, with group play starting during next month's international break. 

Chicharito's Mexico Legacy Is Secure, But Don't Count Him Out Just Yet

Right place, right time.

Sans Rooney, Arriola And Rodriguez Fire United To Win Over Galaxy

Coming off a challenging week, and without their captain on the field, D.C. United put an end to a recent poor run of results, beating the LA Galaxy 2-1 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. With Wayne Rooney out sick, and Luciano Acosta on the bench, Paul Arriola and Lucas Rodriguez scored on either side of the half, canceling out a second-half strike from Favio Alvarez.