It may not have seemed like big news when Columbus Crew SC announced the signing of 21-year old goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The Black & Gold already have three rostered keepers, although Matt Pacifici is on the season-ending injury list, and Steve Clark is cemented as the starter.
Yet Steffen is not your ordinary young goalkeeper. The native of Downington, PA, just outside of Philadelphia is an exciting young prospect who was working his way into the first team at SC Freiburg. He will now compete with Pacifici and Brad Stuver to push Clark moving forward.
If you don’t believe in the potential of the United State youth international just take a look at how Twitter reacted when Crew SC officially announced the signing.
Matthew Doyle is an MLS analyst who is vary familiar with the league and U.S. soccer.
Wow -- this is kind of shocking. Last I'd heard he had made the first team for Freiburg.https://t.co/iLT6OwOk5r— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) July 22, 2016
Drew Epperley covers FC Dallas for our sister site, Big D Soccer. He is also well versed in the U.S. soccer system.
Kevin Kinkead covers the Philadelphia Union and was just as surprised as anyone that the Union didn’t bring a local product home.
Steffen said no to Philly, went to Europe, and is now in Columbus, so I'm not really sure what to think— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) July 22, 2016
Of course those in Philly were none to happy watching a young, exciting prospect get away from the club.
yea, MLS just making up the rules on the fly https://t.co/MlLAAzvVUA— Kevin Kinkead (@Kevin_Kinkead) July 22, 2016
The surprises didn’t stop there.
And of course there was confusion.
I'm really confused by Columbus signing Steffen.— Alicia Rodriguez (@soccermusings) July 22, 2016
From a MLS source:— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) July 22, 2016
The Union never offered Zack Steffen a contract, and never asked to officially establish his homegrown eligibility.
We even got some highlights, if you like things like that.
Finally, in case you were wonder what Crew SC just acquired, here is a list of the Top 5 U.S. youth goalkeeping prospects from a few days back.
Keepers:— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) July 15, 2016
5. Eric Lopez, LAG
4. Will Pulisic, BVB
3. JT Marcinkowski, G’Town
2. Ethan Horvath, Molde
1. Zack Steffen, Freiburg