USMNT REWIND: Zack Steffen Earns Premier League Debut
In the English Premier League's first Pennsylvania derby on Sunday, goalkeeper Zack Steffen earned a win and bragging rights over his U.S. Men's National Team teammate, Christian Pulisic.
Steffen won in his Premier League debut as Manchester City recorded a comprehensive 3-1 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Downingtown, Pa. native became the eighth USMNT keeper to perform in the EPL. His bid to become the third USMNT goalkeeper to register a clean sheet in his first match was spoiled by Callum Hudson-Odoi's goal two minutes into stoppage time and seconds prior to the final whistle.
Continuing the long line of #USMNT goalkeepers to play in @PLinUSA! 🧤— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 3, 2021
🇺🇸 Brad Friedel
🇺🇸 Ian Feuer
Congrats on earning your @premierleague debut, @zackstef_23! 👏 pic.twitter.com/JnIVXTv1R1
After mistakenly handling a back pass in the penalty area that gave Chelsea a free kick in the opening minutes, Steffen recovered and was not severely tested as Man City rolled to a surprising three-goal halftime advantage.
Pulisic, a Hershey, Pa. native, arguably was the Blues’ best player, particularly in the first half.
Kasey Keller (Leicester City; Aug. 17, 1996) and Tim Howard (Manchester United; Aug. 16, 2003) recorded shutouts in their EPL debuts. The other USMNT keepers who performed in England's top tier included Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, Juergen Sommer, Marcus Hahnemann and Ian Feuer.
Two other USMNT teammates Sunday tussled as host Borussia Dortmund and Gio Reyna defeated Wolfsburg and John Brooks, 2-0, in the Bundesliga. Reyna was not involved in either goal, although he made several key interceptions in the middle of the park. Brooks, a center back, enjoyed a strong game, registering five clearances during the match.
The win ensured Dortmund averted losing a club-record fourth consecutive home game.
In other Sunday action:
Weston McKennie played 65 minutes and picked up a 33rd minute yellow card in Juventus’s 4-1 victory over visiting Udinese. The win saw the Serie A champions bounce back after a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina before the holiday break on Dec. 22.
Defender Sergiño Dest performed for 75 minutes before he was subbed in Barcelona's 1-0 road win at Huesca. Forward Konrad de la Fuente was in the 18 but did not play.
In his 14th consecutive start, defender Reggie Cannon recorded his fifth shutout as Boavista drew 0-0 away to Maritimo in Portugal. It was the fifth clean sheet Cannon had contributed to this season.
DeAndre Yedlin appeared in his fifth-straight game across all competitions, going 79 minutes in Newcastle United’s 2-1 defeat to Leicester City on Sunday. Earlier in the week, Yedlin greatly impressed in the club’s 0-0 draw with reigning Premier League champions and league leaders Liverpool.
Sebastian Soto, who came on as a 66th-minute substitute, tallied in the 75th minute in Telstar's 5-2 home triumph past NEC in the Dutch Eerste Divisie. The 20-year-old midfielder has scored seven goals in 11 matches for Telstar this season.
Julian Green scored his fourth goal of the season off a 24th-minute penalty kick to start the scoring in Greuther Fürth’s 2-1 win over St. Pauli in the German Second Bundesliga. U.S. Under-20 midfielder Leon Flach, 19, born in Humble, Texas, rocketed home a shot from outside the box for his first goal of the season only four minutes after entering in the 78th minute.
In Saturday's matches:
Midfielder Owen Otasowie, who came on in the 87th minute of the Wolverhampton Wanderers' wild 3-3 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion, almost struck for a dramatic goal in stoppage time. Otasowie, who turns 20 on Jan. 6, headed a point-blank shot over the host's goal that sailed over the crossbar only seconds before the final whistle.
The versatile Tyler Adams, playing right back, was forced out of RB Leipzig's 1-0 win at Stuttgart with left leg issues in the 81st minute of the Bundesliga encounter.
Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig; German Bundesliga) – 81 minutes in 1-0 win over Stuttgart (Jan. 1)
John Brooks (Wolfsburg; German Bundesliga) – 90 minutes in 2-0 loss at Borussia Dortmund (Jan. 3)
Reggie Cannon (Boavista; Portuguese Primeira) – 90 minutes in 0-0 draw at Maritimo (Jan. 3)
Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona; Spain La Liga/Segunda B) - In 18, DNP in 1-0 win at Huesca (Jan. 3)
Sergiño Dest (Barcelona; Spain La Liga) – 75 minutes in 1-0 win at Huesca (Jan. 3)
Julian Green (Greuther Fürth; German Second Bundesliga) – 90 minute and a GOAL in 2-1 win vs. St. Pauli (Jan. 3)
Duane Holmes (Derby County; English Championship) – Not in 18, DNP in 1-0 loss at Sheffield Wednesday (Jan. 1); In 18, but DNP in 4-0 win at Birmingham City (Dec. 29)
Weston McKennie (Juventus; Italian Serie A) – 65 minutes in 4-1 win vs. Udinese (Jan. 3)
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf; German Second Bundesliga) – vs. Paderborn Monday at 12:30 p.m. ET (Jan. 4)
Yunus Musah (Valencia; Spain La Liga) - 14 minutes in 2-1 loss at Granada (Dec. 30); vs. Cadiz, Monday at 3 p.m. ET (Jan. 4)
Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers; English Premier League) - 3 minutes as a sub in 3-3 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion (Jan. 2); In 18, DNP in 1-0 loss at Manchester United (Dec. 29)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea; English Premier League) – 90 minutes in 3-1 loss vs. Manchester City (Jan. 3); 90 minutes in 1-1 draw vs. Aston Villa (Dec. 28)
Tim Ream (Fulham; English Premier League) – At Burnley, postponed due to COVID-19 issues (Jan. 3); At Tottenham, postponed due to COVID-19 issues (Dec. 30)
Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund; German Bundesliga) – 89 minutes in 2-0 win vs. Wolfsburg (Jan. 3)
Chris Richards (Bayern Munich; German Bundesliga/German 3.Liga) – In 18, DNP in 5-2 win vs. Mainz 05 (Jan. 3)
Antonee Robinson (Fulham; English Premier League) – At Burnley, postponed due to COVID-19 issues (Jan. 3); At Tottenham, postponed due to COVID-19 issues (Dec. 30)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen; German Bundesliga) – 90 minutes in 2-0 loss vs. Union Berlin (Jan. 2)
Sebastian Soto (Telstar, Dutch Eerste Divisie) – 24 minutes and a GOAL as a substitute in 5-2 win vs. NEC (Jan. 3)
Zack Steffen (Manchester City; English Premier League) – 90 minutes in a 3-1 win at Chelsea (Jan. 3)
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United; English Premier League) - 79 minutes in 2-1 loss vs. Leicester City (Jan. 3); 90 minutes in 0-0 draw vs. Liverpool (Dec. 30)