Zack Steffen not included on USMNT 2022 Qatar World Cup roster
The United State men’s national soccer team does not include goalkeeper Zack Steffen on its roster for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the team announced Wednesday at an event in New York City.
Steffen has extensive experience as the No. 1 goalkeeper for the U.S. He came to Middlesbrough on loan from Manchester City to impress the USMNT and secure a World Cup seat with the team.
However, his performance failed to convince U.S. national team coach Gregg Berhalter, who favored Matt Turner over him.
Steffen has played 15 games for Boro this season and three for the national team in 2022. In 2021, he started seven games for the U.S. before being injured in the Nations League final against Mexico. The goalie also started six of the U.S.’s 14 World Cup qualifiers.
The player made his MLS debut with the Columbus Crew during Berhalter’s tenure. The coach said the decision to abandon Steffen was a tough one.
Steffen has struggled with fitness since becoming a primary backup at Manchester City in 2020. Due to an injury, the 27-year-old goalkeeper missed games with Middlesbrough this fall.
However, Berhalter insisted that Steffen’s health was not the main contributing factor to his decision, adding that he also considered putting Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson on the squad.
“You know, it’s more about what we have … with the three goalkeepers listed on the roster where we feel great. You feel really good about Matt Turner in these last six months,” Berhalter said. “We know Ethan Horvath has been competing at a good level in the Championship. And Sean Johnson has been a mainstay in this group since day one. So we’re comfortable with that.”
The USMNT will face Wales on November 21 in Qatar.
“Me and Zack go way back, and Zack’s been there for me a bunch of times. To tell him he’s not going to be part of the World Cup team was heartbreaking.”
- USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter
Zackary Thomas "Zack" Steffen is an American professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for EFL Championship club Middlesbrough, on loan from Premier League club Manchester City,wikipedia
Sean Johnson (soccer)
Sean Everet Johnson is an American professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper and captains New York City FC in Major League Soccer and the United States national team.wikipedia
Matt Turner (soccer)
Matthew Charles Turner is an American professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for Premier League club Arsenal and the United States national team.wikipedia
Ethan Shea Horvath is an American professional soccer player who plays as a goalkeeper for EFL Championship side Nottingham Forest and the United States national team.wikipedia