Zack Steffen to Miss Upcoming USMNT Friendlies

Zack Steffen
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 04: Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffen (23) walks back to the goal after a penalty in the MLS eastern conference semifinals game between the Columbus Crew SC and the New York Red Bulls on November 04, 2018 at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

London, England (November 12, 2018) — U.S. Soccer announced on Monday that Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen will miss the USMNT’s forthcoming matches against England and Italy. Steffen is dealing with the lingering effects of a hamstring injury. He’s one of two injury-related departures with Darlington Nagbe also withdrawing.

Replacing Steffen on the roster is Jonathan Klinsmann who currently plays for Hertha Berlin in the German Bundesliga. The 21-year-old son of former US coach Jürgen Klinsmann has a combined 28 caps at various youth age groups for the US but remains uncapped at senior level.

Zack Steffen Withdraws from USMNT Camp Due to Injury

Steffen is still dealing with a right hamstring injury that he initially sustained in the USA’s 4-2 loss to Colombia on October 11th. According to U.S. Soccer, he reportedly aggravated the injury on Sunday in his club’s loss to the New York Red Bulls that eliminated them from the MLS Cup Playoffs.

It was a setback in an otherwise impressive season for Steffen. The 23-year-old firmly solidified himself as the number one goalkeeper for both club and country. It included compiling a franchise-record 525-minute goalless streak for Columbus that played a part in him winning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

Steffen also made a precipitous impact at national team level. The biggest example came in a pre-World Cup friendly against France in Lyon on June 9. That day, he made seven saves which enabled the Yanks to come away with a 1-1 draw against the eventual world champions.

It’s still up in the air as to whether Steffen’s current club manager will move on to the national team. Gregg Berhalter is among the most bandied about names to take the USMNT job on a permanent basis. Current manager Dave Sarachan has been doing so on an interim basis since Bruce Arena stepped down last year.

The first of the upcoming tandem of friendlies for the US takes place on Thursday at historic Wembley Stadium when they face the Three Lions. Five days later, the Stars and Stripes take on four-time World Cup winners Italy in Genk, Belgium.

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