The United States men’s national team will be without its No. 1 goalkeeper against Canada.
U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday that “an injury concern” will prevent Zack Steffen from joining nine Europe-based players headed to Orlando next week for the CONCACAF Nations League rematch against Les Rouges, which last month snapped a 34-year winless run against the Americans with a 2-0 victory in Toronto.
Steffen, 24, was easily the best U.S. player in that game, preventing an even more lopsided defeat by making several outstanding stops. He had also been in top form for Fortuna Dusseldorf, making the Bundesliga team of the week twice so far this season and registering his second clean sheet last Saturday.
With Steffen out, U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter will likely turn to 35-year-old veteran Brad Guzan, who is one of three keepers (along with Sean Johnson and the uncapped Matt Turner) who have been training with the national team’s other out-of-season MLS players in Florida since last week ahead of the Canada match and another Nations League contest vs. Cuba on Nov. 19.
The Americans need to win both matches and make up a three-goal differential on Group A leaders Canada to advance to next June’s semifinals.
Red-hot Chelsea attacker Christian Pulisic headlines the group that will join the roster beginning Sunday. Other notable inclusions are John Brooks and Alfredo Morales, who return after missing last month’s matches against Cuba and Canada because of injury, and Dutch-born Sergiño Dest, who recently committed his international future to the USMNT over the Netherlands.
Center back Matt Miazga was surprisingly omitted from the squad, which will be announced in full following Sunday’s MLS Cup final between the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC. Miazga went 90 minutes in last month’s 7-0 spanking of the Cubans in Washington, D.C. He also started for the U.S. during the Gold Cup in July, but Berhalter apparently preferred LAFC’s Walker Zimmerman this time around.
More from Yahoo Sports: