Columbus Crew SC goalkeeper Zack Steffen was motivated to silence the Atlanta crowd during a 3-1 penalty shootout victory that lifted Columbus over Atlanta United FC which advanced Columbus to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
67,221 people packed the Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Arena and Steffen wanted to keep them all hushed.
“We wanted to shut that crowd up, and we did,” Steffen said, per MLSSoccer.com. “I mean it’s been a long season. There’s been a lot of games, so each experience you learn.
“Towards the end of the season, you kind of get into form. Right now, I feel good and the guys in front of me are playing well. I’ve got to keep the team in the game.”
“I just had a good feeling about kind of where [Atlanta were] going. Once you pick a side, you’ve just got to go all out.
“Fortunately, I was able to come up with one or two. I had a good feeling. I knew our guys were going to put them away. As long as I make one or two, it’s ours.”
Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter was impressed by the performance.
“I think he played a great game, he stayed calm, he was focused” Berhalter stated.
“We met with the production crew yesterday and they asked me, ‘What has been the most surprising thing this season so far?’ I mentioned Zack. His poise, his calm and his performance, for being such a young player, is really special to see. Today is no exception.”