In a move that could help him secure a spot as the starting goalkeeper for the United States Men's National Team at the upcoming World Cup, Zack Steffen is expected to be transferred from Manchester City of the Premier League.
According to ESPN, Steffen is reportedly going to Middlesbrough of the English Championship on-loan for the 2022-23 season. The club finished in seventh place in England's second-tier division this past season.
Having game-tested goalkeepers is a concern for the USMNT, which is heading into its first World Cup in eight years. At Manchester City, Steffen, 27, has been the backup to primary goalkeeper Ederson of Brazil.
The United States product played in just two Premier League games this past season, but did have 21 appearances across all competitions.
Another USMNT option in goal is Matt Turner, but he is headed to Arsenal in England to be the backup to Aaron Ramsdale. Ethan Horvath is at Nottingham Forest, but he made just six appearances in the English Championship last season.
"I'm not sure that question needs to be answered right now," USMNT head coach Greg Berhalter said earlier this month, when asked about the prospect of limited club playing time for his top goalkeepers. "I think it's time to just let all of this play out. And that's the beauty of time in this case. So what we can do is assess the situations."
Steffen, a Pennsylvania native who came up through the Philadelphia Union's development academy, has made 29 appearances with the USMNT going back to 2018. He has made just three appearances with the team this year, though, and has missed time recently for personal reasons.
Before joining Manchester City, he played for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer, and was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018.
--Field Level Media