Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen has tested positive for Covid-19 and will not travel for the U.S. men's national team's upcoming World Cup qualifier in Honduras, U.S. Soccer confirmed.
Steffen, who has been replaced by NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the U.S. squad, was left out of the team for the World Cup qualifying opener against El Salvador due to a back injury.
That injury also ruled him out for Sunday's qualifier against Canada, with Steffen now set to miss the final game of the international break due to his positive test.
What was said?
"U.S. Soccer has confirmed that goalkeeper Zack Steffen has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not travel to Honduras for the U.S. Men’s National Team World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 8 in San Pedro Sula. He will be replaced on the roster by Sean Johnson," the federation said in a statement.
"Steffen’s positive result was confirmed through rigorous serial testing in accordance with U.S. Soccer’s COVID-19 protocols. After his initial positive result, Steffen was isolated and contact tracing was initiated by U.S. Soccer’s medical staff. His positive result was confirmed with additional testing that was completed today. In addition to Steffen, one other member of the delegation also tested positive and has undergone the same protocol.
"All potential contacts – players and staff – have tested negative in multiple tests since Steffen’s initial positive result and are cleared to participate."
The USMNT's goalkeeping picture
The U.S. currently has several goalkeepers battling for the No. 1 spot, with Steffen heading into World Cup qualifiers as the leader in that race.
However, after a strong Gold Cup, Matt Turner looks set to challenge Steffen for that role, with the New England Revolution goalkeeper starting the opener against El Salvador.
Ethan Horvath is also in the mix after saving a penalty following Steffen's injury in the Nations League final against Mexico this summer.
Manchester City schedule
In addition to missing out on USMNT duty, Steffen will likely end up missing time for Manchester City as a result of the positive test.
Steffen serves as City's backup, acting as understudy to Brazilian star Ederson.
City are set to face Leicester on Saturday before kicking off their Champions League group stage campaign against RB Leipzig on September 15.