It becomes more natural to say it every week, but the Americans had another strong weekend abroad, highlighted by two players with Philadelphia connections taking home domestic cup trophies on Sunday
Goalkeeper Zack Steffen started and won the Carabao Cup, the English League Cup, with Manchester City while center back Mark McKenzie appeared late to see out a 2-1 win for Genk in the Belgian Cup.
Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Tottenham was not as close as the scoreline indicated, with the 3.5-0.04 xG map making the rounds on Twitter, but Steffen still came up with a crucial save on a Giovanni Lo Celso shot from distance.
McKenzie appeared in the last three minutes in the win over Standard Liege and became the first American to win the Belgian Cup. Steffen became the fourth American to win the League Cup and third goalkeeper after Kasey Keller in 1997 with Leicester City and Brad Friedel in 2002 with Blackburn.
Steffen and McKenzie became the third and fourth Americans to win domestic trophies this year abroad, after Sergiño Dest won the Copa Del Rey final with Barcelona last week and Weston McKennie won the Suppercoppa Italiana in January with Juventus.
There will be plenty of other opportunities for Americans to lift more domestic cups overseas, starting next weekend with another departed Union star in Brenden Aaronson. Red Bull Salzburg will take on LASK Linz in the Austrian Cup final on Saturday.
Christian Pulisic, the Hershey native, will play in the FA Cup final for Chelsea against Leicester City on May 15. Tyler Adams, Josh Sargeant, Gio Reyna and McKennie are all still alive in their respective cup competitions as well.
McKenzie, an MLS Best XI selection last year for the Union, has made 11 appearances and six starts across two competitions for Genk since the start of January and logged over 600 minutes. The team has won twice and drawn once in his starts.
Steffen, who came through the Union Academy under Jim Curtin before heading to Maryland for two seasons, has been the domestic cup goalkeeper for the Cityzens, starting all 10 matches in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, with an impressive 9-1 record and just five goals allowed. He also has a start apiece in the Premier League and Champions League, both wins.