United States men's national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen is set to join Championship side Middlesbrough on a season-long loan, sources tell CBS Sports. Sources tell CBS Sports that this deal does not include a buy option or an option for a second season. The Manchester Evening News was the first to report Steffen's impending arrival at Boro.
The 27-year-old has been a backup goalkeeper at Manchester City for the last two seasons, and in what may be the biggest year of his career, he's in search of regular minutes. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar right around the corner, Steffen needs to find consistent playing time to secure the spot as the starting goalkeeper for the United States men's national team. He's currently battling with the likes of Matt Turner, who just arrived at Arsenal, and others to win the starting job.
Consistent injuries has limited Steffen to just three national team appearances out of the 10 games the U.S. have already played in the 2022 calendar year.
Steffen has played in 21 games for City over the last two seasons. Middlesbrough currently have goalkeepers Joe Lumley and Luke Daniels in the squad, but Steffen is expected to be the starter as the club hope to battle for promotion.
Steffen won the Premier League with Man City last season and helped the U.S. to the 2019-29 Concacaf Nations League final. He was injured in the final against Mexico and was replaced by match hero Ethan Horvath, whose club, Nottingham Forest, was just promoted to the Premier League. Steffen started the 2021 EFL Cup final for City as they beat Tottenham 1-0 to win the title.
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Last season Boro finished in seventh place in the Championship, five points below a playoff spot.
Steffen's move comes as reports say German goalkeeper Stefan Ortega is set to sign as City's new backup goalkeeper.