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The amazing career of Matt Turner, a solid goaltender for Team USA

“In five years, I see myself well in an investment bank. » Fortunately for him, Matt Turner is not a medium, but a professional goalkeeper. Because here’s what he said a little less than ten years ago. This is a great story from this 2022 World Cup to highlight on the occasion of the Round of 16 between the USA and the Netherlands, which will cross swords on Saturday (4pm) in Qatar. If the star of the Stars and Stripes is undeniably called Christian Pulisic, the 28-year-old goalkeeper is an indispensable part of this American selection. In addition to his undeniable talent in goal, it is also his very original career that makes him so special on the other side of the Atlantic, while only twelve years of training will have been enough for him to have achieved a place of choice in the football world.

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The fact that Matt Turner started playing “soccer” at the age of 16 lays the foundation, while his first real stories with the round ball, which he first started playing at 14 to keep fit and be in top form for his two passions, basketball and baseball, is nothing short of idyllic. Many often put his huge dumpling back on the table, in October 2013 when he guarded the goals for Fairfield (division 1 university). When a long-range shot fell off his bar against Iona, Turner failed to catch the ball, releasing it into his own goal after the leather bounced off his face.

Turner has become a reference in MLS

“I had sacrificed so much for this opportunity and it couldn’t have been worse”, recently confided the American, who then took advantage of the injury from the usual holder and then returned to sit on the same bench that he had grown for 2 years. But this great-grandson of a Lithuanian immigrant who wanted to escape the Nazis in 1940 took advantage of this delicate situation to create a real shell and come back better after seriously considering giving up football. Three years after that unfortunate episode, Matt Turner, who fell in love with soccer thanks to London Donovan’s last-minute goal against Algeria at the 2010 World Cup, joined Major League Soccer under the colors of the New England Revolution.

The beginning of his meteoric rise. Ham, who was inspired by YouTube videos to learn how to become a goalkeeper, quickly established himself with the New England Revolution, after making his mark in the second division, on loan. Over the seasons, Matt Turner, taken under his wing by Brad Friedel on the Ravs, has become one of the most reliable doormen in the North American Championship. Between 2018 and 2021, he stopped 32.2 potential goals, 10 more than any other goalkeeper in MLS. Enough to lead him slowly but surely to Team USA, where he has had the role of No. 1 since July 2021, but also in the English Premier League.

Before you go English to the Gunners

Matt Turner reached the rank of best goalkeeper in MLS in 2021 and convinced Arsenal to bet on him to act as Aaron Ramsdale’s understudy. His first steps in Her Majesty’s Kingdom confirmed the Gunners in their choice, while giving even more confidence to the United States. If he has not yet had the opportunity to play in the Premier League, the native of Park Ridge (New Jersey) has spoken about his qualities in the Europa League (4 matches, 4 wins and 3 clean sheets), where he still missed the last two days of the group stage due to a minor injury. On the European stage, Matt Turner excelled by making several decisive parades and proving at ease in the London cages. His only goal conceded in Zurich was from the penalty spot.

Turner also leads Team USA to Qatar

In terms of his performance, Matt Turner is now on par with Tim Howard, Brad Friedel or even Kasey Keller for the USMNT, with whom he has 23 caps (16 clean sheets). In the continuity of his performances at Arsenal, the former MLS resident has stood out in Qatar since the start of the 2022 World Cup (5 saves, including 3 against the Three Lions). There too, he conceded just one goal, on penalties (from Bale against Wales), as with his club (bringing his total to 5 clean sheets in 7 games this season). Otherwise, the American is impeccable and calm on his goal line, like his decisive parades against Ben Davies or Mason Mount.

Matt Turner, equipped with an interesting kicking game (93% of successful passes in his half since the start of the competition), even paid for the luxury of being in the starting shot for the first goal for Team USA against Iran (1 -0) thanks be his perfect raise. More confident than ever before, the Arsenal goalkeeper proclaims his ambitions loud and clear. “I want this responsibility, to show myself on the world stagehe said recently. It’s the first time I’ve said it out loud: I feel I deserve to play. » What better way to shine than a round of 16 World Cup to shine?

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