Matt Turner played his last game as a member of the New England Revolution on Sunday in what was a celebration of his career with the club.
While Turner didn't play, he was sent off in tremendous fashion with supporters giving Turner a flag of New England signed by supporters. Turner also stayed at the stadium late signing autographs for supporters waiting outside. He did the same inside of Gillette prior to the start of the match.
Of course, New England will miss Turner on the field as he was the best goalkeeper in MLS but the club will also miss him off the field and in the locker room. So after the match, The Bent Musket spoke with members of the club to talk about what they will miss the most about Turner and also asked Turner what he will miss the most about New England.
For Bruce Arena, it’s not just about Turner’s talent off the field, it’s also about how great of a person he is.
“You know, I’ve said this a lot of times: Matt [Turner]’s a very good goalkeeper and an even better person, so how he shows up every day is a real positive,” Arena said. “He trains hard, he’s a good teammate, good person. We’ll miss that. He is a good story. It’ll be interesting to see how he does at the next level. Not only national team, but obviously, in the Premiership [English Premier League]. It’ll be the next challenge in his life, and he’s not backed away from any challenges to date so it’ll be interesting to see how he does.”
Midfielder Tommy McNamara also agreed that he will miss Matt Turner the person more than Matt Turner the goalkeeper.
“Yeah, he’s a great person,” McNamara said. “That’s what we’re going to miss the most. So, he’s a very good person, brought a lot to the team in regard to his personality and his character. So, we’re going to miss him, but we wish him well, though. It’s an awesome opportunity for him. It works out for the club. It’s beneficial for the club. So, it’s a win-win all around. And we brought in Djordje [Petrović], and he’s done a very, very good job stepping in so far. And he’s a young kid and he’s got a lot of talent and potential ahead of him.”
Jozy Altidore also talked about meeting Turner at January camp as a member of the United States Men’s National Team and how great of a guy Turner was.
“Matt’s a good guy, man,” Altidore stated. “You know, I’ll never forget meeting him the first time in January camp. Just really nice guy, really personable and he’s worked his ass off to get where he is. You just miss having, you know, you love having people like that around, so we’ll miss him but really proud and happy for him. It’s a great opportunity at a beautiful club.”
Omar Gonzalez pointed to Turner’s leadership being one of his best qualities and something that will be missed in the locker room.
“He’s been here for a while so he really cared for this club and it mattered a lot to him,” Gonzalez said. “Even when he was away from the team, he was keeping up with the guys, wishing us luck, making sure that everyone’s head was in the game so that’s definitely going to be missed.”
But what will Turner miss the most about New England? Well the answer is pretty much everyone.
“It’s the people,” Turner said. “It’s the media. It’s the fans. It’s the coaching staff. It’s Cynthia[McGrath], who helps give us our food every single day. It’s all those things. The athletic training staff, every little bit of it. I’m going to miss the people the most because, for me, one of the things I love about football and soccer is the relationships that you create. So many people from so many different backgrounds come together, and they’re all trying to achieve the same thing, which is to win a soccer game. And no matter what your role is within this club, covering this club to hold the front office and the coaches and the players accountable, it’s all like just this beautifully intertwined thing. And so, for me it’s the people, no question.”
While he will be far away, midfielder Maciel mentioned that everyone will be rooting for him.
“I wish him the best,” he said. “I hope he achieves everything he wants out of his career. We will be far away but always rooting for him.”
So now Turner turns his eyes to Arsenal but the New England Revolution and this region will always be a part of him no matter how far he goes.