At Wembley Stadium, Manager Pep Guardiola doesn’t see that changing in the semifinals against Chelsea on Saturday, as Zack Steffen has backstopped Manchester City’s FA Cup run so far. Guardiola said about Zack Steffen on Friday: “We trust him a lot. That’s why he’s here.”
In the FA Cup quarterfinals, 26-year-old American has featured 10 times this season, most recently in City’s 2-0 victory over Everton On March 20.
Would Guardiola be tempted to switch to first-choice keeper Ederson now that a trophy is within sight? Not likely.
“If (Saturday) Zack doesn’t play, I’m going to lose the team,” Guardiola said. “It’s better to lose a game than lose a team. He’s played really well in the FA Cup, he’s the keeper for the USA national team.”
“He’s training good and he deserves it.”
In the English League Cup, Steffen has played four FA Cup matches, and another four — City is in the final on April 25 against Tottenham. US Gaolkeeper played one Champions League game and his lone Premier League appearance came against Chelsea — a 3-1 victory at Stamford Bridge on Jan. 3, when Callum Hudson-Odoi scored for Chelsea in second-half injury time.
Steffen is possible to play against U.S. teammate Christian Pulisic, Chelsea’s in-form winger who’s earned more minutes recently.
Guardiola says Steffen is competent and likes goalkeepers who are comfortable with the ball at their feet.
“He can do it. He has the personality, he has composure,” Guardiola said. “Of course, no one in the world is like Edi (Ederson). There’s no keeper in the world with the quality with the feet — in the short, in the long.”
“I don’t want Zack to do what Edi does. Zack has to do what he (does). That’s all. Try to save the balls. We’re going to try to help him concede as few chances as possible.”
Steffen, who arrived at City in the summer of 2019 before he went on loan to Dusseldorf in Germany, tweeted on Friday: “Huge weekend ahead.”