USMNT, Man City goalkeeper Zack Steffen close to joining Middlesbrough on loan - sources

United States men's national team and Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen is expected to join English Championship side Middlesbrough on loan through the 2022-23 season, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Steffen, who signed with Manchester City from the Columbus Crew in 2019, spent the past two seasons as the primary backup to Ederson, keeping eight clean sheets in 21 appearances across all competitions. He has made just two appearances in the Premier League.

The possibility of a loan was first reported by the Manchester Evening News.

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For Steffen, it's a move that would likely secure consistent playing time and give him a better chance to earn the starting job for the United States at the World Cup. Steffen is one of three European-based options for the U.S. -- along with Arsenal's Matt Turner and Nottingham Forest's Ethan Horvath -- who faced the prospect of limited first-team minutes in advance of the tournament.

Joe Lumley, who appeared 39 times in goal for Boro last season, completed a season-long loan to Reading FC earlier this month.

Steffen did not appear with the United States during its four June matches, for what the team said was family reasons. He has made 29 international appearances since he debuted in 2016, including six during World Cup qualifying.