2017 DEFENDER OF THE YEAR | Zack Steffen

Following the 2017 Major League Soccer regular season and postseason, Columbus Crew SC announced its 2017 Team Awards — including the Acura Most Valuable Player, Golden Boot Winner, Defender of the Year, OhioHealth Humanitarian of the Year, Kirk Urso Heart Award and Crew SC Academy Player of the Year.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen performed like a veteran in his first year of play with Crew SC, playing every minute of the club’s 39 matches across all MLS competitions while posting 11 shutouts.

The 22-year-old’s 16 wins and nine shutouts during the 2017 MLS regular season set new club records for a goalkeeper in his first year of play, while his 34 starts in the regular season tied Steve Clark’s record for a goalkeeper in his first year of play. Steffen finished the regular season with 98 saves, tied with Bill Hamid for fourth-most saves in the League and behind only Joe Bendik (173), Bobby Shuttleworth (116) and Luis Robles (99).

Steffen’s eight saves and clean sheet against Atlanta United FC in the Knockout Round of the Audi 2017 Playoffs made him the youngest goalkeeper to play, start, register a save and record a shutout for Crew SC in the postseason. During that same match, the goalkeeper entered Black & Gold lore by saving two of Atlanta United’s attempts during the penalty kick shootout to help Crew SC to a 3-1 win.

Overall, Steffen saved four penalty kick attempts in regulation time across all MLS competitions in 2017.

Topics: 

LIVE YOUR COLORS: Follow Crew SC on the MLS App - The official MLS app gets a major update for 2019, making it easier than ever to keep up with your favorite club, check standings, watch videos and much more.