Steffen named U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year
The Manchester City-bound goalkeeper earned recognition for his performances with the national team and the Columbus Crew
Zack Steffen has been named the 2018 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year, the federation announced on Tuesday.
The goalkeeper beat out midfielders Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Wil Trapp as well as defender Matt Miazga to the award, winning a total of 44 percent of the vote.
Adams followed in second with 38 percent while McKennie rounded out the top three with 16 percent of the overall vote.
With his victory, the 23-year-old goalkeeper becomes the youngest player at his position to win the 35-year-old award, following Kasey Keller (1997, 1999, 2005), Tim Howard (2008, 2014) and Brad Friedel (2002) as winners.
“It’s an honor to be put with those names that have won before me and to have the respect and confidence from teammates, coaches and staff,” Steffen said.
“I’m thankful for my support system. Without them I couldn’t have done any of this. It gives me motivation and confidence to keep going and do bigger and better things.”
Steffen led all USMNT goalkeepers with six appearances in 2018, keeping clean sheets in the 1-0 victories against Paraguay and Mexico.
His best moments, though, came in France as Steffen made eight saves to help the U.S. earn a 1-1 draw with the eventual World Cup winners just days before the start of this summer’s tournament.
The MLS Goalkeeper of the Year also kept 10 clean sheets in 29 matches for the Columbus Crew this season, prompting an eventual transfer to Manchester City.
Steffen will begin the 2019 season in MLS before joining the Premier League champions in the summer.
In addition, U.S. Soccer announced that U.S. U-20 star Alex Mendez has been recognized as 2018 Young Male Player of the Year.
Mendez earned 43 percent of the vote for his star efforts throughout World Cup qualifying, followed by Mark McKenzie and Giovanni Reyna who each had 18 percent.
“It’s a very proud moment,” Mendez said. “First, I want to thank U.S. Soccer for the nomination. I also want to thank my family, my teammates and the U-20 squad that won the Concacaf Championship.
“Obviously, this is an individual award, but none of this would be possible without them pushing me to be a better player.”
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