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Manchester City’s Zack Steffen has become the latest American goalkeeper to play in the Premier League, with goalkeepers being America’s best and most consistent international soccer exports.
Steffen joins an impressive list of his compatriots who have donned gloves in England, with some of them among the best goalkeepers of any nationality to play in the Premier League.
Premier League career: 1995 – 1996
Clean sheets: 4
Sommer was the first American goalkeeper, but perhaps the least famous or least remembered, to play in the Premier League, after joining the QPR in 1995. The Hoops were relegated, but remained until 1998.
Sommer was also a non-player member of the US teams at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.
Premier League career: 2008 – 2017
Clubs: Aston Villa, Middlesbrough
Clean sheets: 29
Although he arrived at the club in 2008, Guzan had to wait until the 2012/13 season before becoming number one for Aston Villa, at which point Villa was starting to struggle and would be relegated in 2016.
Guzan was then picked by the newly promoted Middlesbrough, but he was primarily the second choice for veteran Spanish Victor Valdes.
Premier League career: 2020 – present
Club: Manchester city
Clean sheets: 1
Steffen is still in the early days of his Premier League career, but landed at an elite club immediately after being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2018.
Skeptics weren’t expecting Steffen to ever play for Manchester City due to the way the club recruits talent to work elsewhere, but he has been inducted as the number two goalkeeper this season.
Premier League career: 2006-2008; 2009 – 2012
Clubs: Reading, Wolves, Everton
Clean sheets: 28
Hahnemann left a starting position in MLS in 1999 to settle in England, eventually making a name for himself in Reading and helping the Royals rise in 2006.
Stiff competition for places ensured that Hahnemann only made a handful of international appearances during his long career, but he was named to two World Cup teams in 2006 and 2010 at his peak.
Premier League career: 1996-1999; 2001-2005; 2007-2008
Clubs: Leicester, Tottenham, Southampton, Fulham
Clean sheets: 55
Keller spent a total of five seasons as the Premier League’s number one goalkeeper, initially with Leicester in the late 1990s and then with Tottenham in the early 2000s.
Keller’s first soccer test in England was with Millwall in the lower leagues, while he attended four World Cups and started two.
Premier League career: 1997-2000; 2001 – 2014
Clubs: Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa, Tottenham
Clean sheets: 132
Work permit issues multiple times prevented Friedel from joining Nottingham Forest, Newcastle and Sunderland, before he was finally granted permission to sign for Liverpool in 1997.
But it was after dropping a division and gaining promotion with Blackburn that he established himself as a Premier League star, setting a new record of 310 consecutive appearances.
Premier League career: 2003 – 2016
Clubs: Manchester United, Everton
Clean sheets: 132
Howard was dubbed the ‘Secretary of Defense of the United States’ for his heroic deeds at the 2014 World Cup, particularly in an unprecedented performance against Belgium, and was a starter in the Premier League for more than a decade.
Howard initially thrived at Manchester United until he lost his place after just 18 months, but then laid the foundation for a period of remarkable consistency in the top half of Everton.