While the U.S. men’s national soccer team failing to qualify for the World Cup is inexcusable and should never happen, it’s provided the opportunity to showcase the next wave of national teamers, including Zack Steffen.
The former Maryland goalie was called back up to the national team two weeks ago, and got the start Saturday against France. He was outstanding, making seven saves, including several late in the match that helped preserve a 1-1 draw against a World Cup contender’s A-team.
Fantastic double save by Zack Steffen in the final minute to preserve the draw for #USMNT! Pushed away Fekir's long range effort, then quickly reacted to deny Dembele's follow-up. The #CrewSC GK has certainly cemented himsefl as the new #1 for USMNT. #FRAvUSA #FRAUSA #MLS pic.twitter.com/MHoEEtcXwW— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) June 9, 2018
USMNT put a Maryland Terrapin in goal and is now equally as good as France. Draw your own conclusions— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) June 9, 2018
Tim Howard has been the man between the nets for the most of the last 10 years and is stepping away from national team play, leaving a hole for someone like Steffen to fill. He’s certainly made a strong impression in friendlies so far this year, making his USMNT debut in January and pitching a shutout in his first career start against Paraguay in March.
As the team gets closer to 2022 World Cup qualifying as well as next year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, Steffen’s main competition for time in the cage will be Bill Hamid, the former DC United goalie now plays for the Danish Club FC Midtjylland. But with two strong performances of late, it looks like Steffen has a leg up on the competition.
In other news
Greg Thompson finished second in the discus throw at this weekend’s NCAA Track and Field Championships. It’s the program’s first First Team All-American in 12 years.
Former Maryland defensive back Josh Woods is off to training camp after signing with the Bears on Thursday.
Maryland baseball lost its second-best commit Thursday night when Jack Herman decided to sign with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Here’s Thomas on the Washington Capitals winning their first Stanley Cup. Also, if you’re from the DMV and have witnessed players going crazy this weekend, feel free to discuss in the comment section. (Of course they’d be welcome at Bentley’s, you don’t even have to ask.)