New England Revolution

Revolution’s Matt Turner is MLS Goalkeeper of the Year

Revolution goalie Matt Turner, Barry Chin/The Boston Globe


When Matt Turner was playing for Fairfield University, few scouts ventured to Stags games. And when it came time for the MLS player combine, Turner did not warrant an invitation. Meanwhile, up the road at Storrs, Conn., plenty of attention was being focused on the University of Connecticut’s Andre Blake, who became the first (and only) goalkeeper to be selected No. 1 in the MLS draft in 2014.

Turner might have been obscured then, but these days his profile is high, as he has been named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, the award announced Monday. Turner, in his sixth season with the Revolution, finished ahead of Blake (Philadelphia Union) and Joe Willis (Nashville SC).

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This marks another step in a remarkable ascent for Turner, who did not make an appearance for the Revolution until 2018, earned a US national team callup in 2019, finished second to Blake for Goalkeeper of the Year last season, and is now contending for a starting role with the US in World Cup qualifying.

Turner compiled a franchise-best 17-4-7 record (five shutouts) as the Revolution (22-5-7, 73 points) completed a record-setting season. They captured the Supporters’ Shield, earning a bye in the playoffs through an Eastern Conference semifinal date with New York City FC, scheduled for Nov. 30.

In August, Turner made the Gold Cup all-tournament team as the US won the championship, the run including a 1-0 quarterfinal win over Jamaica, with Blake in goal. Later in the month, Turner split time in net with Blake in the MLS All-Star Game, gaining the Most Valuable Player award in a penalty-kicks win over a Liga MX selection.

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And Turner, 27, is still in the early stages of his career. He ranks third on the Revolution all-time appearance list for goalkeepers with 97, behind Matt Reis (254) and Bobby Shuttleworth (127). With the US, Turner has a 9-1-2 record (six shutouts) since making his debut in a 7-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago Jan. 31.

Turner has matched some of Blake’s accomplishment in MLS and internationally, but there was a time when he could only admire his rival.

“I remember in college watching UConn highlights and Andre Blake highlights after every game, and I was just blown away by how good this guy was,” Turner recalled in a recent interview. “It would’ve been really fun to test myself against him, but [UConn coach] Ray Reid never wanted to play against the Stags.

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“So to be on the same field with him is really cool. He was somebody I definitely looked up to in college. We spent time together when we were in the All-Star Game, and he’s a great guy. It’s crazy, seeing him on the international stage, as well, but it has been a ton of fun.”

Should the Revolution defeat New York City FC, they would advance to the Eastern Conference final Dec. 4. The MLS Cup final will be played at the home of the team with the best record Dec. 11.

In last year’s playoffs, the Revolution fell, 1-0, to the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference finals. They have played only one home playoff game since 2014, taking a 2-1 victory over Montreal last year.

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