The USMNT goalkeeper, in his second league game, had possibly the worst positioning from a goalkeeper you'll see this weekend.
Middlesbrough visited Queens Park Rangers in the second matchday of the EFL Championship and with Steffen at the center of it, The Boro conceded three goals all before the end of the first half in their 3-2 defeat at Loftus Road.
Zack Steffen Mistake vs. QPR
When QPR were up 1-0, a horribly measured clearance by the newly-signed Middlesbrough keeper lead to perhaps the easiest header we’ve seen in while.
— TEESSIDER (@the_teessider) August 6, 2022
Looks like someone’s gonna be needing a hat from now on.
How Did Americans React On Social Media?
As many of us know, Steffen is not necessarily a fan favorite in the U.S. and the reactions to his mistake sum up what they think about the former Manchester City backup and his role in the USMNT.
I hear Zack Steffen is performing down to his usual standards.— Huw Davies (@thehuwdavies) August 6, 2022
Zack steffen legitimately shouldn’t even be going to Qatar. He’s not good. https://t.co/Pn8SBiYKXU— Jimmy O. (@soccer_usa_) August 6, 2022
I don’t think I’ve ever seen one soccer player make as many mistakes as Zack Steffen makes. This over the course of the past 4 years too, not just recently, so it’s not like it’s anything new. And I’m talking costly & potentially costly ones too. #USMNT— lowerwolves15 (@lowerwolves15) August 6, 2022
Pray 4 Zack Steffen https://t.co/l8ZeDDCqgJ— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) August 6, 2022
Does This Heat Ip The USMNT Goalkeeper Debate?
Steffen’s loan spell to Middlesbrough was a smart move in hopes of getting in the best form possible before the start of the World Cup in November.
Official, confirmed. Zack Steffen has joined Middlesbrough on loan move from Manchester City, deal sealed as Steffen will have game time. #transfersEderson, Ortega and Carson will be Man City goalkeeper’s trio this season. pic.twitter.com/a4SnrDbsFs
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 19, 2022
More minutes meant better form, at least on paper.
But, recently – whenever we’ve seen the Pennsylvanian get playing time at club level – he makes mistakes like these:
— #ChampionsLeague (@alimo_philip) April 16, 2022
Zack Steffen remains far from convincing for me as a lock down #1 starter for . I hope there is still a competition for that role.pic.twitter.com/HgrQu0wQ3J— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) April 17, 2021
Now, it would be harsh to sentence the American for failure after a mistake in his second game of the season.
After all, Zack is the best and most experienced goalkeeper in the squad and will probably put up some good performances throughout the season.
Though, mistakes like these could possibly be detrimental for a player who has been anything but confident and with USMNT goalkeepers like Matt Turner, who recently signed for Arsenal, and Ethan Horvath pushing for a starting role, Steffen will have to get past making mistakes like these and solidify his position in the national team.
But if Gregg Berhalter firmly sees the 27-year-old as his #1 for Qatar even when he continues this form, there might be some worrying to do for USA fans.