With Matt Turner out due to an injury, Earl Edwards Jr. started in between the sticks for the New England Revolution’s 2022 MLS season opener and he didn’t disappoint.
Saturday was Edwards Jr’s first start with New England and also his first MLS start since 2018 when he was with Orlando City. A matchup against the Portland Timbers, who were crowned the champions of the Western Conference in 2021, would be a big test for the 30-year-old.
While he had such a long layoff between MLS starts, the goalkeeper said that he felt prepared entering Saturday’s matchup.
“I haven’t played a game since 2018 at this level, but with that in mind, it left me a lot of time to prepare, and I felt nothing but prepared going into this game,” he said. “I had a lot of confidence going into it. I’m happy with my performance and hope to build on it moving forward.”
Edwards Jr. should be happy with his performance. The 30-year-old made three saves on the night that were all impressive. He kept the Revolution in the game early on and is a major reason why the club was able to walk away with a point.
“He kept us in the game,” said Sebastian Lletget. “I thought they had a chance very early on, maybe five minutes in. You need your goalkeeper to make those saves to keep you in games. I thought that on such short notice, to come in and play, it was big time from him. We needed that.”
With Turner injured and there being no timetable, Edwards Jr. appears to have an opportunity to get a run of starts. After his performance against the Timers, Revolution fans wouldn’t mind seeing him get another chance.
But the 30-year-old is simply focused on doing his job and being ready whenever Bruce Arena needs him.
“As long as I’m called upon,” when asked how long he thinks he could be starting. “I’ll be ready when I’m called upon, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Next up for the Revolution is the 2022 home opener with FC Dallas coming to Gillette Stadium. If Turner is still unable to go, Edwards Jr. proved that he can be called upon to make the big saves and get the job done as a starter.