USMNT’s Steffen wants more anti-racism action

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USMNT and Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen has said he will continue to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement but has called on more “action” in the fight for social justice.

Steffen is set to make his City debut in their Carabao Cup tie with Bournemouth on Thursday, and ahead of the game the 25-year-old Pennsylvanian said he will continue to use his platform to make a stand against racism.

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“We have a big role to play,” Steffen, who has a foundation which supplies computer equipment to children from disadvantaged communities, told ESPN.

“We work hard each and every day to build these platforms and fans pay money to come see us play on the field, come to events to see us off the field, follow us on social media, and we have these massive platforms that we can really do a lot of good.

“Not for our own personal gain but for our communities we come from.

“Change is really only going to come through actions. I think teams taking a knee is good, I think we should still do that, but we really need each team, each person, to stand up with the Black community and minority communities and fight. Action is the way towards real change.”

Steffen signed for City from Columbus Crew in 2019 and after a season on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf, is finally ready to make his first appearance for Pep Guardiola’s side.

After Claudio Bravo‘s departure, he will play No. 2 to first-choice Ederson but he is still expecting plenty of opportunities after Bravo was handed the gloves for 17 games last season.

“I want to play games and get better, and I know I have to get better,” said Steffen.

“I’m here to do those things. This is my team, this is who I signed for and I want to be with them. I want to come in here, learn, get better, push the players and have them push me. I want to win trophies. I want to stay here for a while and enjoy the ride. I’m just happy to be here.”

Ederson has been Guardiola’s established No. 1 since arriving at the Etihad Stadium from Benfica in 2017 but Steffen has promised to push the Brazil international, starting with a possible debut against Bournemouth.

“I definitely have that competitive nature,” said Steffen.

“Ederson is high quality. I’m very happy to be here and just watch him, learn from him and pick his brains about certain things. That’s how I’m going to get better.

“The season has just started and I feel like I’ve already learned a lot so I’m really just looking forward to the future and the opportunities that come my way.

“We talk about techniques and little different things, even off the field. He’s been a great guy so far and a good role model for me in training.”