Columbus, Ohio (December 11, 2018) — Zack Steffen’s time with Columbus Crew SC isn’t done just yet.
The club announced Tuesday that it reached a historic transfer agreement with English Premier League giants Manchester City for the 23-year-old goalkeeper. Instead of completing the move during the primary transfer window this coming January, Steffen will join the club during the secondary transfer window in the summer of 2019.
Columbus Crew SC Reaches Historic Transfer Agreement With Manchester City for Goalkeeper Zack Steffen
Details of the transfer fee weren’t disclosed. However, it’s the largest in Crew SC and the most ever for a goalkeeper in the 23-year history of MLS.
“This is a historic transaction for the Club and a special moment for Zack Steffen that we are immensely proud of,” Crew SC interim general manager Pat Onstad said in a team release. “Today’s announcement is the culmination of two and a half years of development and success for Zack. As someone who worked closely with Zack throughout, on behalf of the Club, I would like to say that we couldn’t be happier for him. Manchester City Football Club is one of the top clubs in the world and we are pleased to finalize this agreement that benefits the player and both clubs. We continue to believe that players that come to Crew SC have an opportunity to develop and become great players either here in MLS or abroad. Ahead of Zack’s departure next summer, our scouts already have players targeted as the Club identifies a high-caliber replacement.”
During his two seasons with the Black and Gold, Steffen made 63 regular season appearances with the club, all starts. In that time, he also solidified himself as the number one goalkeeper for the USMNT. His club manager during his time in Columbus, Gregg Berhalter, will now coach him at national team level as he recently accepted the position of US head coach.
2018 was certainly a breakout season for Steffen. He became the second keeper in Crew SC history to win MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors. The league also named him to its Best XI roster, making him the first Crew SC keeper since Brad Friedel in 1997 to earn that honor. Among his exploits this year was a 525-minute goalless streak which is a club record and eighth-longest such stretch in MLS history.
“Any success that I have had as a goalkeeper in MLS with Crew SC is a testament to those around me who have pushed me – teammates, coaches, staff, family, friends, and supporters,” Steffen emphasized. “Today’s announcement regarding next summer is a special moment for me and I look forward to finishing my time with this Club on a strong note. I am eager to continue to put in the work to improve and be the best teammate I can.”