Matt Turner isn’t giving much thought to those comparing him and Zack Steffen.
On the Sept. 28 episode of Extra Time, Matt Doyle claimed that Turner is “miles beyond” Steffen. The comment spurred widespread debate with many people weighing in, including Jozy Altidore.
Turner is flattered by the attention he’s receiving but knows there’s more work to be done.
“Listen, people are going to talk,” Turner said after Saturday’s draw with Nashville SC. “It’s nice to be in that conversation. The reality is I know I still have a ton to prove in this league, I still have bigger aspirations, and I’ve never even played a game for the [U.S. Men’s] National Team yet.”
Turner became a MLS starter in 2018 after two years as a third-string goalkeeper. He quickly became a well-known figure and finished fifth in the 2019 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting. He’s earned two call-ups to the U.S. Men’s National Team but hasn’t collected a cap.
If Turner continues to play the way he has, he’ll likely earn his first international appearance in the near future. It’s also not out of the question that he’ll make a move to Europe as he recently secured his Lithuanian passport.
All of this makes it natural to compare Turner and Steffen. Steffen has 17 USMNT caps and transferred to Europe in 2019 after three years with the Columbus Crew. The goalkeeper recently made his debut for Manchester City, playing in a 2-1 Carabobo Cup win over Bournemouth.
Hearing people say he’s one of the best American goalkeepers is certainly flattering to Turner but it’s not going to distract him for accomplishing his goals.
“Like I said, it’s nice to be in the conversation, but I know I still have a lot of work to do,” Turner concluded.