MLS Exports

USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen earns first Premier League start for Manchester City against Christian Pulisic's Chelsea

Zack Steffen in first Premier League match vs. Chelsea

US men’s national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen earned his first Premier League start Sunday when Manchester City took on Christian Pulisic and Chelsea.

Steffen had a shaky start, handling a backpass that led to a Chelsea free kick in the 5th minute. But Hakim Ziyech’s free kick just outside the 18-yard box was blocked by the wall for a corner kick.

Steffen’s lone save was a pedestrian one, leaping up to grab a lofted Cesar Azpilicueta header in first-half stoppage time.

A dream of a clean sheet, though, was dashed at the death on Callum Hudson-Odoi’s back post finish.

It’s been a long road for Steffen to his first league start since an announced transfer from Columbus Crew SC for a club record fee in Dec. 2018.

The transfer went into effect the following summer with Steffen subsequently sent to Fortuna Dusseldorf on a season-long loan.

The 25-year-old joined Manchester City in preseason, with the expectation he’d be the No. 2 goalkeeper behind Ederson following Claudio Bravo’s departure from the club.

Steffen has made four starts for Manchester City this year — three in the Carabao Cup and one  in the UEFA Champions League, a 3-0 group stage win over Marseille a month ago.

But with Ederson one of five Manchester City players self-isolating due to coronavirus concerns, Steffen got his first Premier League start against Chelsea and could also be in the XI for the Manchester Derby in the Carabao Cup semifinal Wednesday.