The 2022 World Cup is rapidly approaching and United States Men's National Team Head Coach Gregg Berhalter needs to decide who his starting goalkeeper will be.
Matt Turner started the last two friendly’s and was arguably the best player of the entire international window for the United States. Still, Berhalter has an affinity for Zack Steffen who Berhalter coached while with the Columbus Crew. The current Middlesborough goalkeeper recently returned from a knee injury and will be in line for more minutes if he proves that he is the rightful starter for the English Championship side.
Current New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena made an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub and was asked about the current USMNT goalkeeper competition. As the best manager in USMNT history, he gave an interesting perspective to the battle between Turner and Steffen.
“I think as a starting point, I think that coaching staff has believed that Steffen has had an edge on Matt, so going into the last month and a half before they start the World Cup, they’re going to have to closely observe both goalkeepers,” Arena said. “Steffen will be back playing with his club team. Matt’s had a difficult time getting on the field with his club team and that can be the difference in deciding who the No. 1 goalkeeper is. It’s not an easy situation. For me, personally, I think the way Matt played this past week, you could clearly argue that he should be the No. 1.”
Many would argue that Arena is correct in his assessment that Turner should be the top keeper. Turner has 14 clean sheets on the international level and has supreme shot-stopping ability. Still, Steffen is in line for more game minutes and seems to have a great relationship with Berhalter.
The next month will be interesting for USMNT fans as everyone awaits the World Cup roster being dropped. While Turner’s spot seems certain, his role on the squad in Qatar still seems up in the air.