New England Revolution

Next for Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner is World Cup qualifying with US

Turner is the first US goalkeeper to earn shutouts in his first two starts and the first to be in goal for victories in his first seven matches.

Ronald Martinez
Matt Turner earned his first cap in a 7-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago in January, then became the starter as the US won the Gold Cup.


Few goalkeepers can match Matt Turner for dramatic career progress. Turner has gone from undrafted free agent to MLS All-Star Man of the Match and a place on the US national team for World Cup qualifying.

Turner, 27, made two saves in the penalty-kick shootout Wednesday night as the MLS team defeated Liga MX following a 1-1 tie at Banc of California Stadium. Then on Thursday, Turner joined goalkeepers Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest) and Zack Steffen (Manchester City) on the 26-player US roster for qualifiers at El Salvador next Thursday, against Canada in Nashville Sept. 5, and at Honduras Sept. 8.

Steffen has been listed No. 1 on the US depth chart, but he was injured and replaced by Horvath as the US took a 3-2 extra-time win over Mexico in the Nations League final in June. Turner earned his first cap in a 7-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago in January, then became the starter as the US won the Gold Cup.

Advertisement:

Turner is the first US goalkeeper to earn shutouts in his first two starts and the first to be in goal for victories in his first seven matches. Turner helped the US blank Mexico, 1-0, in overtime in the Gold Cup final Aug. 1, stretching his national-team shutout streak to 416 consecutive minutes.

In 2016, Turner was No. 4 on the Revolution depth chart, and he remained on the bench during his first two seasons, playing on loan to the Richmond Kickers in the USL. In 2018, Brad Friedel took over as Revolution coach and named Turner the Opening Day starter. Turner went on to record five shutouts in 27 appearances.

Advertisement:

Brad Knighton opened the next season in goal, but Turner regained the starting role in Friedel’s final game, a 5-0 loss to the Chicago Fire on May 8, 2019. Last year, Turner finished second to Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union) in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting as the Revolution reached the Eastern Conference finals.

“He makes the plays where he needs to make the plays and he’ll make them, obviously, in practice like I’ve seen over the past five or six years he’s been on the team,” Revolution defender Andrew Farrell said. “But he’ll also make them on the big stage like in the All-Star Game and get that recognition that he’s deserved.

Advertisement:

“I’m excited to see what he’s going to do with the national team. But he does it at all times, so it’s easy to root for guys that are playing well but also easy to root for guys who are your friends and who are such good people.”

In the All-Star Game, Turner made one save during regulation time (the Liga MX team totaled two shots on goal) in a 29-minute stint in relief of Pedro Gallese and Andre Blake, then stopped shots by Rogelio Funes Mori and Salvador Reyes in the shootout.

“I always say relax and enjoy the penalty-kick shootouts,” Turner said. “Luckily I was able to guess the right way on a couple of them, make the saves, and we came out on top.

Advertisement:

“It was a great experience to be here and be amongst some of the league’s best, guys that I used to watch on TV, to get to develop relationships with them. It was a really special part of it. I was just enjoying myself out there.”

Revolution leading scorer Gustavo Bou (12 goals) also played in the All-Star Game, and midfielders Carles Gil (injured) and Tajon Buchanan (signed with Club Brugge in Belgium) skipped the match. The Revolution will be missing Gil for a visit to New York City FC Saturday but will have Buchanan, who will stay with the team on loan for the remainder of the season.

Advertisement:

Buchanan (Canada) will compete in qualifiers against Honduras in Toronto next Thursday, at the US Sept. 5, and at El Salvador Sept. 8. And Revolution forward Adam Buksa (Poland) is set for games against Albania, San Marino, and England.

Jump To Comments

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com