Brad Friedel sees a lot of upside in Matt Turner and even believes the young netminder could one day suit up for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
As has been the case all season, Turner was a huge factor in his team’s success on Wednesday night. In sum, Turner made six stops, which tied his single-game high, to help the New England Revolution record a 1-1 draw against Atlanta United FC. While this stat alone is impressive, looking at the individual saves helps illuminate Turner’s potential.
His save in the 66th minute was a product of good composure while he needed quick reflexes to make a stop in the 82nd minute. Turner’s focus was put on display in the 91st minute when he denied Atlanta’s bid at a late game-winner.
Turner’s talent is nothing new to New England Revolution fans, who have seen him solidify his status as the club’s top ‘keeper ever since he won the spot during preseason. That said, there’s a belief that the 23-year-old has much more to offer.
“As long as he stays grounded, humble, [and] focused, his potential is really high,” Friedel said. “There’s not too many American goalkeepers that are better than him anywhere in the world. He will have the ability to play at National Team level—if and only if—he continues to work the way that he does.”
Turner certainly seemed grounded, humble, and focused after the game. Despite earning an endorsement from Friedel, a man who spent 17 seasons in the English Premier League while amassing 82 caps for the USMNT, Turner emphasized the importance of getting better every day.
“That means a lot, but he still expects more of me and I expect more out of myself,” Turner remarked. “To be in that category right now is great, but I know I can do a lot better.”
Turner made a number of spectacular saves on Wednesday, but he was quick to recall the night’s one blemish. In fact, Turner was quite reflective about the 23rd minute goal, saying he was partly to blame for moving his “feet a little too soon and guessing.”
It’s this type of mindset that will help Turner meet his full potential. To him, every game is an opportunity to improve.
“I’m just trying to learn every single game,” Turner said. “I try to learn after we lose, I try to learn after we win, and see how I could do things in a game differently and continue to grow as a player because I know I’m not where I want to be yet. That’s always been my mindset is to learn and work hard.”