After 141 appearances, Matt Turner’s time in New England has come to an end. Fans flooded Gillette Stadium on Sunday to bid farewell to Turner ahead of his move to English Premier League side Arsenal in the coming days.
What a career it’s been for Turner. Twenty-two clean sheets, 347 saves, .589 winning percent, 2020 Revolution Team MVP, 2021 Supporters’ Shield champion, 2021 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award, 2021 MLS XI.
Turner’s hard work with the Revs gave him the path to make 18 caps with the USMNT, where he held a 14-2-2 record with 13 clean sheets!
As we say goodbye to one of the greatest Revolution goalkeepers, let’s look at some of our favorite Matt Turner moments during his seven-season stay in New England!
Josh – Penalty kick save against Colorado (3/10/2018)
My favorite Matt Turner moment came just two games into his Revolution career.
Just minutes after Diego Fagundez netted the first Revs goal of the 2018 season, Jalil Anibaba attempted to clear the ball out of the box yet took a chunk out of Jack McBean instead.
Jack Price stepped up to the spot as he was ready to face off against an undrafted goalkeeper who spent the past two seasons on loan in Richmond. Price looked to sneak a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner. Matt dove to his right and got both hands on to it. Although the young keeper coughed the ball back into the box, Price thankfully whiffed on the follow-up.
While it was a good save, what I truly loved about the moment was the reaction from Matt. Once Price’s shot sailed over the net, Turner ran out of the 6-yard-box screaming in pure euphoria as Andrew Farrell, Jalil Anibaba, Scott Caldwell, and Wilfried Zahibo hovered Turner and proceeded to congratulate Turner on the save.
Jake - The 2021 Gold Cup
Yes, the entire tournament. The one in which Matt Turner was a literal wall backstopping a nowhere near full strength USMNT side with five shutouts out of six games. This was not the US side featuring all the young stars from Europe, but a mostly MLS squad that struggled mightily to move the ball up the field and generate consistent chances in the final third. But there were few questions as to who as going to start that tournament and Turner left no doubt as to why as he collected the awards for top keeper from CONCACAF.
The only goal Turner gave up in entire tournament? A PK goal to Martinique which was honestly a really good penalty from Emmanuel Riviere in a 6-1 blowout and the only game in which the USMNT did not win 1-0. Between this tournament and the 2021 Shield run, Turner’s form over the past several years has been ridiculous and he keeps piling up the shutouts with the USA in qualifiers too.
But it was the amazing close range fingertip save against Qatar in the semifinals and several early stops against Mexico that allowed the USMNT the opportunity to steal those games late because there were still zeros on the board. There were good individual moments like Matthew Hoppe’s winner against Jamaica and the solid centerback pairing of Zimmerman and Robinson, but the USA had nothing as consistently epic that was Matt Turner and his shot stopping in July of 2021.
Sam - The 2020 Eastern Conference Semifinals (aka the Nani stop)
People will try their best to pinpoint when Matt Turner established himself and vaulted to another level but I will always remember his performance against Orlando City in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and more particularly his penalty save against Nani.
Time and time we have seen Turner put New England on his back and he did that once again here. He showed his pure shot-stopping ability and put the Portuguese legend in his back pocket.
Turner brought a Revolution team that had struggled for most of the season and brought them all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. It showed how talented of a goalkeeper he was and what he was capable of.
The postgame interview on the field and the ensuing celebration was also quite impressive.
Seth - Saving a penalty in his USMNT debut against Trinidad and Tobago (01/31/21)
I actually agree with Josh with his pick of the penalty save against Colorado. I used to watch Richmond Kickers games just to see what Turner was all about. Even then, I was surprised to see him named as the starter in 2018. Just two games into his tenure, he showed everyone why he deserved the spot. Turner making remarkable saves became a theme for the Revolution.
In Jan. 2021, Turner was put on a bigger stage when he made his international debut against Trinidad and Tobago. Turner wasn’t expected to get a lot of action against the Caribbean nation, but then the referee pointed to the spot in the 65th minute.
Turner didn’t need to make a save—the U.S. were up 7-0 at this point—but he did. The secret of Turner was out and his stock only rose from there.
On a final note, I want to recognize that Turner is not only an amazing player, but he’s also an amazing person. He was always thoughtful when taking questions from the media and seemed well-liked in the locker room. A good example of who Turner is comes from 2020 when he became the locker room DJ after being benched because he still wanted to contribute to the team. Turner will be missed for his contributions on and off the field.