Columbus, Ohio (July 18, 2018) — Could Zack Steffen be on his way back to Europe?
English Championship club Bristol City have offered Columbus nearly $4 million for GK Zack Steffen, per sources. Gregg Berhalter wouldn't confirm the bid, but told me that multiple teams have expressed their interest in Steffen to Crew SC.
— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) July 18, 2018
Report: Bristol City Put in Multimillion Dollar Bid for Zack Steffen
Stejskal later detailed that Crew SC manager Gregg Berhalter declined to confirm the English second-tier side’s interest in Steffen. But he did emphasize that Steffen has garnered interest from “multiple clubs” over the course of the summer.
The 23-year-old originally joined Crew SC during the 2016 summer transfer window after two seasons with Bundesliga side SC Freiburg. Steffen played exclusively with Freiburg’s reserves during his stint in Germany which made a move back to the States in search of playing time feasible. The Black and Gold signed Steffen as a discovery signing.
Though he didn’t make an appearance until the 2017 season, Steffen stepped right in and made an immediate impact when given the opportunity. He started every regular season and postseason game for Crew SC, posting 11 shutouts in that time. Perhaps the most eye-opening of those performances came against Atlanta United in the knockout round of the playoffs when he made eight saves and a few crucial penalty kick denials in the upset win.
Steffen boasts extensive youth national team experience, with 30 caps for the US at varying age levels. His impressive opening campaign with Crew SC led to him making his first national team appearance when he played the second half of a 0-0 draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina on January 28. In his first full match against Paraguay exactly two months later, Steffen pitched another shutout in a 1-0 win for the Stars and Stripes.
But it was the week before the World Cup where Steffen truly impressed for the national teams. Against a French squad that eventually won the entire tournament, he made seven saves in a game the US eventually drew 1-1. Considering France won six of their seven games in Russia and the fact the US didn’t make it there, retrospect makes this result all the more promising for the future of the USMNT.
According to Stejskal’s report, one thing that could complicate matters is Steffen’s dearth of national team caps. Though he’s regularly seeing call-ups now, his three appearances up to this point would not automatically qualify him for an English work permit. It means that a potential transfer will probably hinge on him getting authorization through an appeals panel.
Crew SC takes on Orlando City on Saturday, it’s first home game since June 30. Kickoff from MAPFRE Stadium gets underway at 7:30 p.m. ET.