As expected, US international Zack Steffen was handed his first start in a Manchester City uniform in their Carabao Cup showdown against Bournemouth on Wednesday and made a winning debut as the three-time reigning champions began their title defense with a 2-1 win.
Steffen, the 25-year-old former Columbus Crew goalkeeper, has started the season as the backup to City's Ederson, but was reportedly in line to get his chance when the time for cup competition rolled around.
Steffen had very little to do throughout the game, even as Bournemouth gave a young Manchester City side plenty to handle. There was little to nothing he could have done do on Bournemouth's 22nd minute goal — the visitors' only shot on target — which game four minutes after City opened the scoring. Steffen's best play of the night was in the 55th minute, as he dashed quickly off his line to make a goal-saving slide tackle outside the box.
The 2018 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year joined Manchester City in July 2019 after City and the Crew agreed a reported $7 million transfer fee in December 2018, and the club loaned him out to the Bundesliga's Fortuna Dusseldorf for the 2019-20 campaign. Despite battling injuries in his debut European season, Steffen put in some strong performances for the since-relegated side, earning a return to Manchester City and a chance to compete for the starting job at one of European soccer's biggest clubs.