Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen put in a man-of-the-match effort holding a full-strength France side to a 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon. With a shutout streak running in his Major League Soccer campaign, Steffen carried his stellar form to the United States Mens National Team. His Crew SC teammate Wil Trapp also featured for the U.S., captaining the side to the friendly tie.
After a nervy first few minutes that featured a Paul Pogba shot rocketing off the goalpost, Steffen settled into a fine groove for the U.S. Aside from a few Antoine Griezmann shots sent wide of the goal, Steffen was not troubled in the first half. The young Crew SC keeper put himself in good position to make simple pickups on Frances’s multiple crosses and through balls.
Jurgen Klinsmann favorite Julian Green put the USMNT up 1-0 near the end of the first half on an excellent near-post volley off of a Shaquell Moore cross that was misplayed by Djibril Sidibe.
Trapp played a solid first half, sitting in front of the U.S.’s three-man defensive line, connecting multiple passes, and looking confident on the ball against the likes of N’Golo Kante and Pogba.
In the second half, the Yanks defended admirably for more than 30 minutes before Paris Saint-Germain starlet Kylian Mbappe put the equalizer past Steffen in the 78th minute. With his team’s back against the wall, Steffen stepped up to keep France out of the back of the net and grab a hang on for the draw.
Just after Mbappe’s goal, Lyon captain Nabil Fekir lined up a free kick that he fired to Steffen’s right. Like he’s done at MAPFRE Stadium many times before, Steffen dove to his right and made an incredible save to keep the score even at one.
The USMNT were able to hold the score for the next 10 minutes, but required a highlight-reel sequence by Steffen to bring a draw back home. In the 94th minute, Steffen parried another brilliant strike by Fekir to his right and into the path of Ousmane Dembele. The midfielder fired a shot right back on frame but Zack said no, pushing the ball out of danger and earning the draw for the USMNT.
After a great match by the Black & Gold teammates, it’s likely that we’ll see a lot more of those two wearing the red, white and blue.