Heading into the summer, there was a concern that none of the regular goalkeepers for the United States men’s national team would be getting regular playing time at their clubs. Ethan Horvath was promoted with Nottingham Forest but stuck behind Brice Samba. Matt Turner was set to join Arsenal behind Aaron Ramsdale and Zack Steffen was in for another season behind Ederson at Manchester City. While these are fine places to be a backup goalkeeper, they aren’t what Gregg Berhalter would want to see when selecting his top shot-stopper for the World Cup in Qatar.
Berhalter was coy on if he’d push his keepers to seek out loans, but the concern was there. Sean Johnson was added to the summer squad, presenting another option after stellar performances for New York City FC and performed well when called upon against Uruguay. That may have been the push that the other keepers in the pool needed to seek out regular playing time.
Steffen and Horvath seem set to head to the Championship where they will not only be tested but will also get to go up against USMNT forwards Josh Sargent and Daryl Dike while chasing promotion to the Premier League. Stefan Ortega joined Manchester City on a free transfer, paving the way for Steffen to head on loan. Middlesbrough are a team with ambition and were only five points off of Luton Town for the final playoff spot last season.
Speaking of Luton, after making the playoffs, they are looking to reload after being knocked out by Huddersfield. With Dean Henderson joining Nottingham Forest on loan due to Samba wanting a move, Horvath is now poised to join Luton on loan in an effort to seek out first-team minutes, according to the Telegraph. Passed over for the No. 1 job at both Club Brugge and Forest, Horvath could have a chance to show that he deserves to start somewhere.
Not to be forgotten, Turner will still get to play in cup and Europa League games for Arsenal, meaning that the top three keepers in the pool will get playing time to come into the World Cup sharp. It’s great for both Berhalter and the keepers. They’ll all push each other and ensure that the best performing keeper gets the starting role in Qatar.