United States Men's National Team goalkeeper Zack Steffen believes he has already grown up on the pitch with Manchester City, even though he has only been in the first team for just over two months.
Steffen, 25, signed with Man City in July 2019, but spent the 2019-20 season on loan with German team Fortuna Düsseldorf. Steffen has been brought in this season primarily to support Ederson, but he has backed the club to two EFL Cup wins.
"Their goalkeeper coach is very detailed and can't wait to make me a better goalkeeper," Steffen told reporters ahead of Thursday's friendly against Wales. “And then, working with these guys day in and day out, the training, the level of intensity, the skill and the skill and everything that goes into that, I feel like I'm growing.
Regarding the sharp areas, Steffen emphasized the technical side of his game.
“It's so much more detailed than anything I've really been involved in, whether it's the positioning of the hand when you catch the ball, or a set position on a certain shot, or one on one. .
“There are so many little aspects that I obviously knew and know the techniques, but I feel like I never really understood the reasons why you are doing this. And so, I feel like I'm learning new techniques obviously but [also] a few reasons why these techniques will help me in the long run. "
Steffen's brief stint with City has now allowed him to see manager Pep Guardiola up close. He said that, while still getting to know the manager and the staff, he was impressed with what he had seen so far.
“I feel like [Guardiola] has a good balance of being focused and intense," Steffen said. "But with that he brings humor, and he just brings his authenticity and just his cuteness. So it's cool to see how he works, how his coaching team works. "
Steffen added that he has also noticed an increase in the way players are treated now that he is in the Premier League.
“The care of the players is just more important,” he said. “They want us to be fully focused on football, and they really help us and worry about everything else, whether it's cars, whether it's banks, whether it's housing, family matters. away, and they really make us feel comfortable. "
But for next week, Steffen's job will be to fit in with an American squad that hasn't played a game since February, with many top-choice players joining the U.S. squad for the first time in addition to a year. Steffen's last appearance for the United States came on October 15, 2019 in a 2-0 loss to Canada in the CONCACAF Nations League.
“So far the atmosphere has been really good,” he said. “Everyone is delighted to be here and everyone is delighted to see each other, to meet. The training was short, precise and fast. It's obviously difficult when there are so many new guys and we don't have that many training days. But now we're excited for the game, so excited to get out on the pitch every day and learn from each other and see what everyone is really up to.