U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen will spend the next season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf, with his new parent club, Man City, securing the move on Tuesday.
Steffen was always likely to be loaned away from Man City after agreeing to move there this summer in December. With Brazil's Ederson entrenched as Pep Guardiola's No. 1 goalkeeper, Steffen would have found minutes hard to come by, and he'll hope to have them in bulk on his second tour of duty in the Bundesliga. Steffen began his pro career at Freiburg, leaving the University of Maryland after two years for the opportunity to play in Europe. It didn't go well, with Steffen reduced to reserve team duty in his season and a half there.
Steffen realized more of his potential upon his return to America, rising to prominence with the Columbus Crew. He came back in 2016, went on loan to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and then became a starter in Columbus for good in 2017. He earned notoriety for his performance on penalty kicks, and he was named both MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year in 2018.
"I am happy to be coming back to Germany and be joining such a historic club," Steffen said in a video released by Fortuna Dusseldorf on Tuesday.
Fortuna Dusseldorf is coming off a season in which it finished 10th in the Bundesliga. German veteran Michael Rensing, 35, was its regular starter, and he'll look to fend off Steffen to maintain the No. 1 job.
"His technique is well-trained, he is strong in the one-on-one situation and is an outstanding footballer," club sporting director Lutz Pfannenstiel said in a statement. "Manchester City made the decision to sign him to a long-term deal for a reason."
Steffen heads to Germany coming off a run with the U.S. national team at the Gold Cup, backstopping the Americans to a runner-up finish behind rival Mexico.