TRANSFER TRACKER: Transfer
Columbus Crew SC have reached an agreement with Manchester City for the transfer of goalkeeper Zack Steffen for a club record fee. The player will officially join the reigning English Premier League champions when the summer transfer window opens in July 2019 and he will begin the 2019 MLS season with Crew SC.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but the transfer fee is the most ever received by an MLS club for a goalkeeper in the league’s 23-year history.
Steffen, 23, joined the Crew in 2016 after two years in Germany with SC Freiburg and was named 2018 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year after his exploits this year. He has six caps with the US national team and has the inside track to be the USMNT starting goalkeeper for the next decade.
“This is a historic transaction for the Club and a special moment for Zack Steffen that we are immensely proud of,” said goalkeeper coach and Columbus Crew SC interim general manager Pat Onstad in a statement. “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.”
In two seasons with Crew SC, Steffen made 63 appearances and recorded 19 shutouts as he helped lead his team to the playoffs both years. In the postseason, Steffen delivered heroic penalty shootout victories in the Knockout Round each season, at Atlanta United in 2017 then at D.C. United in 2018.
Said Steffen: “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. 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.”
Prior to heading to Germany, the Pennsylvania native starred at the University of Maryland for two seasons. He was a regular at the US youth national team levels before making his senior national team debut at the beginning of 2018.