Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen can add 2018 USSF Male Soccer Player Of the Year to his awards and accomplishments section of his resume.
The 23 year-old Coatesville, Pennsylvania native is the youngest goalkeeper to win the award, and the first in Crew SC history.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@ussoccer_mnt) December 18, 2018
Zack Steffen wins Male Player Of the Year
Steffen joins the likes of Brad Friedel, Tim Howard and Kasey Keller to win the award as a goalkeeper. In his debut with the United States Men’s National Team, Steffen earned six caps and two shutouts.
“I’m thankful for my support system. Without them I couldn’t have done any of this,” said Steffen in a statement to Crew SC.
At the national level, Steffen came on as a substitute in the USMNT friendly match against Bosnia-Herzegovina where both teams played to a 0-0 draw. Months later Steffen posted his first shutout in a 1-0 win over Paraguay.
The outstanding performance that could have caught the eyes of Premier League giants Manchester City was the seven-save performance he put up against the USMNT friendly against France where both teams played to a 1-1 draw.
His second shutout came against bitter rivals Mexico on September 11, in which the USMNT defeated their CONCACAF foes 1-0.
For Columbus, Steffen became the brick wall Columbus needed. Along with being voted the 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of The Year, Steffen was big in the 2018 Audi MLS Cup playoffs.
Columbus faced off against original rivals D.C. United in the knockout round. The game went to a penalty shootout. This game marked the second year in a row Columbus was faced with one.
Again, Steffen made two huge saves against Luciano Acosta, and superstar Wayne Rooney before Columbus would win the match.
In their Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup against the New York Red Bulls, Steffen had posted a 1-0 shutout win in the first leg, making save after save, thus including a point-blank swipe off of a Bradley Wright-Phillips header in the dying minutes before the game ended.
Steffen will spend the first half of the MLS season with Columbus before moving to Manchester at the beginning of July.