Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen made his Premier League debut in the club’s 3-0 win over Chelsea on Sunday afternoon in place of usual starter Ederson, who has been forced to isolate as a result of the coronavirus outbreak at the club.
Steffen has previously played three times in the Carabao Cup this season, as well as in the final Champions League group game against Porto.
Even if Ederson was available, chances are Steffen would be playing the upcoming FA Cup tie against Birmingham anyway, but he will now keep his place for as long as the Brazilian remains sidelined.
Steffen is American, growing up in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, around 40 miles from Philadelphia.
He started his career in the junior ranks of a local soccer club, before later being taken under the wing of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. After that, Steffen was recruited to play college soccer for the University of Maryland.
He spent a year in Germany with Freiburg’s reserve team in 2015/16, before returning stateside and eventually making his name in MLS with Columbus Crew from 2017 onwards.
The 25-year-old has made 19 appearances for the United States national team, but has continued to share the gloves with several other goalkeepers rather than nail down a regular starting place.
Steffen was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2018 season, prompting Manchester City to sign him in a deal worth an estimated $7m – a record fee for an MLS goalkeeper – that December once the MLS campaign was wrapped up.
However, Steffen didn’t complete the move to Manchester right away in the January transfer window and stayed with Columbus Crew for the first half of the 2019 MLS season until July. He then completed his transfer to City, although it was immediately confirmed that he would be spending the 2019/20 season on loan with Fortuna Dusseldorf in Germany.
It was only after City released Claudio Bravo in 2020 that Steffen returned to the Etihad Campus and was installed as the club’s primary back-up to Ederson.
Upon his return to Manchester City in 2020, Steffen was assigned the number 13 jersey. He became the first player to wear it since former second choice goalkeeper Willy Caballero left in 2017. That is despite City’s number one jersey also remaining vacant.
Steffen formerly wore number 23 at Columbus Crew and often wears number one for the USMNT.
MLS salary data confirms that Steffen was paid $145,000 for the 2018 MLS season. After his breakout year, that was upgraded to a $260,000 contract for the 2019 campaign – although he left halfway through the season to join Manchester City.
Premier League salaries are not officially disclosed like they are in MLS, but it is estimated Steffen is now earning the equivalent of more than $1m per season with City and not far short of 10 times his 2018 salary with Columbus Crew. His current wages are thought to be around £15,000 per week.
Zack Steffen is rated 76 on FIFA 21 and is a rare gold card if you want to collect him on Ultimate Team. His reflexes are his best attribute, rated at 83, but diving, handling, kicking and positioning are all also at least rated above 70.
On FIFA 21 career mode, Steffen has the potential to become an 82-rated goalkeeper.