Zack Steffen saw his first action for Manchester City on Thursday, with the U.S. men’s national team’s presumptive No. 1 goalkeeper starting vs. Bournemouth as the club kicks off a run at a fourth straight League Cup title.
Man City manager Pep Guardiola has frequently turned to his backup goalkeepers in domestic cup play to give Brazilian starter Ederson a break, and in the most recent past that has meant time for Chilean veteran Claudio Bravo. With Bravo off to Real Betis and Steffen back with his parent club after spending last season on loan with Fortuna Dusseldorf, that means the opportunities are there for the American.
He backstopped a very experimental team for the third-round matchup, with a number of Man City regulars being kept out of action and the likes of Liam Delap, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Tommy Doyle and Adrian Bernabe being given starts as well. New signing Ferran Torres also made his first start for City.
In taking the field, Steffen joins Claudio Reyna and DaMarcus Beasley as Americans to feature for Man City’s men’s team in the modern era. (Carli Lloyd and Daphne Corboz previously played for Man City Women, while Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis are currently at the club). U.S. center back Erik Palmer-Brown is currently on Man City’s books, too, but he’s been on loan at various clubs since leaving Sporting Kansas City for Manchester after the 2017 MLS season. Mix Diskerud is owned by Man City as well, though he has never played for the club and has been on loan since January 2018.
If recent history is any indication, then Steffen could have a number of more appearances ahead of him in the competition. In addition to winning the last three League Cup titles, City has won four of the last five and five of the last seven.
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