Source: Crew SC Communications
COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC, in conjunction with Major League Soccer, today announced that Zack Steffen has been voted the 2018 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year. Steffen, who made his Crew SC regular-season debut in 2017, becomes the second-youngest player in MLS history to be named Goalkeeper of the Year and only the second player in Black & Gold history to earn this prestigious League honor. Steffen earned the most votes in polling among three voting groups: current MLS players, MLS club technical staffs (coaches, technical directors/GMs) and a select group of media members.
“We are extremely proud of Zack for this tremendous honor,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Since Zack arrived at the club in 2016, he has been an excellent role model for young players coming to MLS, continually working to improve as a player, embracing a leadership role within the team and acting as a positive member of the community. I’ve been very proud to watch him develop under the guidance of Pat Onstad over the past three years into one of the top goalkeepers in the League and U.S. Men’s National Team pool and we look forward to his continued improvement in the years to come.”
FOR MEDIA DOWNLOAD: Goalkeeper Zack Steffen and Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter provide soundbytes on the award, courtesy of Columbus Crew SC Communications – http://bit.ly/2yXHyQT
Steffen, 23, is the second-youngest player to be named Goalkeeper of the Year in MLS history. In just his second year of MLS regular-season action, Steffen made history by setting a new Black & Gold club record for the longest shutout in regular-season action, maintaining a clean sheet for 525 minutes. The streak spanned from the 46th minute of a home match against the San Jose Earthquakes on April 28 to the 30th minute of a home contest against Atlanta United FC on June 13. Steffen’s 525-minute streak is also the eighth-longest regular-season shutout streak in MLS history. For his efforts in the month of May, Steffen was named MLS Player of the month presented by EA SPORTS™. In August, Steffen went on to make a second-half appearance in goal in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game against Italian side Juventus, making three saves in match action, his first All-Star appearance.
Steffen finished the regular season with a career-best 1.28 goals against average in 2,610 regular-season minutes across 29 starts. Steffen’s 10 shutouts during the 2018 MLS regular season marked not only a new MLS career-high for the goalkeeper, but also tied him with Jon Busch (2004) and William Hesmer (2008) for second place on Crew SC’s list of most shutouts by a player in a single regular-season. A native of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Steffen is only the second Crew SC player to be the recipient of the Goalkeeper of the Year Award. He joins Brad Friedel, who won the award with the club in 1997.
In Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, November 4 – in which Crew SC defeated the New York Red Bulls 1-0 – Steffen made three saves and earned his third career postseason shutout in his seventh career postseason match. In just shy of 700 career postseason minutes (690), Steffen has a postseason goals against average of 0.78 and played a critical role in two playoff shootouts in the last two postseasons.
In addition to shining for Crew SC in 2018, Steffen also made his debut for the U.S. Men’s National Team, regularly appearing for the Stars and Stripes throughout the year en route to earning six caps and recording two shutouts. Notably, Steffen’s six caps tied him with Kasey Keller and Troy Perkins for most caps by a goalkeeper in his debut year with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Crew SC returns to the pitch for the decisive Leg 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, November 11 at Red Bull Arena. The match kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. ET and is set to be broadcast nationally on FS1 and FOX Deportes, as well as available locally on the radio on CD102.5 FM in English. The club’s official website, ColumbusCrewSC.com, is set to stream the English-language radio broadcast online as well as host the Spanish-language audio broadcast.