Zack Steffen became the fourth American to win the League Cup. (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen joined an exclusive club of U.S. men’s national team players Sunday.
Steffen became the fourth American to win the English League Cup and the third goalkeeper to do so, backstopping Manchester City to a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur to win the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
Midfielder John Harkes won the cup with Sheffield Wednesday in 1991, followed by goalkeeper Kasey Keller (Leicester) and Brad Friedel (Blackburn).
Former goalkeeper Espen Baardsen, who was born in San Rafael, Calif. also won the League Cup with Tottenham in 1999. He never played for the USMNT. Due to his Norwegian heritage, he was able to be capped four times for Norway from 1998-2000.
Steffen, who starred with Columbus Crew SC, did not have to work very hard as ManCity dominated the match from start to finish, except for a 10-minute span at the start of the second half.
Center back Aymeric Laporte scored the game-winner in the 82nd minute as he headed in Belgian international Kevin De Bruyne’s free kick from outside of the left side of the penalty area. Laporte nodded home a rare goal past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Lloris was outstanding during the encounter, making several vital saves to keep Tottenham in the match.
Before venturing to Europe, the 26-year-old Steffen enjoyed a star-studded 2018 MLS season with Columbus, winning the league goalkeeper of the year award and named to the MLS Best XI and to the midseason all-star game.
ManCity and Steffen won’t have much time to bask in the glory because they have UEFA Champions League semifinal encounter against Paris St-Germain Wednesday.