USMNT's Zack Steffen Defended by Manchester City's Pep Guardiola for Liverpool Error

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVApril 17, 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Sadio Mane of Liverpool scores their side's second goal past Zack Steffen of Manchester City during The Emirates FA Cup Semi-Final match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on April 16, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Justin Setterfield - The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Manchester City's backup goalkeeper, the USMNT's Zack Steffen, made a horrible error in Saturday's FA Cup semifinal against Liverpool, turning the ball over in front of his own goal and allowing Sadio Mane to score. 


MANE CATCHES ZACK STEFFEN SLEEPING 🤯 <a href="https://t.co/X7GYqHqB04">pic.twitter.com/X7GYqHqB04</a>

It proved to be a costly mistake, as City lost the match 3-2, but manager Pep Guardiola came to Steffen's defense. 

"It was an accident, but we need him to try because that's how we play our football," he told reporters. "He deserves to play and after that he had a good game. He made good saves and is an exceptional keeper."

The reaction on social media wasn't so understanding:

Stephen Meyer @StephenMeyerRDC

The accepted "fact" that Steffen is somehow elite with his feet and that makes him a better keeper than Turner/Horvath for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/USMNT?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#USMNT</a> is a joke. This was not an isolated error for him. He's regularly shaky &amp; unnerving. <a href="https://t.co/YHzl1sT4dq">https://t.co/YHzl1sT4dq</a>

Jeff Carlisle @JeffreyCarlisle

Howler. What Zack Steffen just did.

Cristian Nyari @Cnyari

Steffen should have stayed in Germany. 😮

But Guardiola has Steffen's back. 

"We use our keeper to move our opponents into different situations. I'm pretty sure Zack didn't want to do it," he said. "Sometimes the strikers miss in front of the keeper, other times the keeper makes a mistake."

It was, however, a pretty huge mistake.