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Matt Turner praises Bruce Arena’s relationship with players

Turner says Arena’s willingness to reward players makes New England an “attractive place to play.”

New England Revolution v Columbus Crew SC: Eastern Conference Final - MLS Cup Playoffs Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Bruce Arena’s willingness to reward players makes New England an “attractive place to play,” according to Matt Turner.

On Tuesday, Turner signed a new contract with the New England Revolution, despite having three years left on his existing deal. The decision adds an extra year but also gives the netminder more money. In short, it’s compensation for his stellar play.

“[Arena’s] a guy who’s going to tell you like it is and a guy who is going to reward you for good play and I hope that other guys on the team see that,” Turner told the media. “It wasn’t always like that in New England and it certainly is not like that everywhere else in the league.”

Turner joined the Revs in 2016 after going undrafted. Serving as the third-string goalkeeper, his initial contract paid him $51,500.04, according to the MLS Players’ Association. Turner has since become one of the league’s best goalkeepers and is in regular consideration for the U.S. Men’s National Team. Julian Cardillo reported that Turner’s most recent contract, which was inked in 2019, paid him $200,000 per year.

The quick re-up is a sign that Arena wants his players to know that they’re valued. Turner said that moves like this “can only motivate other players in the locker room to do well and want to earn contracts.”

Although every player won’t earn a new contract each year, Arena is always upfront with his players. Turner explained that Arena spoke to each athlete before last year’s playoff run to summarize their role on the team. The conversations made everyone feel comfortable and confident.

“When you have 25 guys that are on the same page, they know their role, and they know what they can do to help the team the best, it’s a beautiful thing,” Turner said. “It creates this energy around the locker room that boosts everyone’s play.”

Turner, who recently purchased a house in South Boston, still has a desire to play in Europe, but that dream would require a transfer fee regardless of his re-signing.

The new deal is more about Turner getting the money he deserves as one of the league’s best shot-stoppers. Turner also believes that deals like this are positive for the club’s reputation.

“I hope that other guys around the league will see that and say, ‘well Matt just signed a contract in 2019 and they signed him again after 2020, I want to get rewarded for good seasons,’” Turner explained. “It makes it an attractive place to play – not only for players that are already in New England but for people around the league to take notice.”