The Revolution hosts Minnesota United on Sunday night.
Matt Turner started his MLS career as a far cry from an intermediate college program to become the league’s 2021 Goaltender of the Year.
Turner’s unlikely success with the Revolution since joining in 2016 has capped his career. Turner will begin the next phase of his professional journey as a longtime outsider on the wrong side of the Atlantic when he joins Arsenal from the English Premier League next week.
“I came to football late and because of that I always had to prove myself every day,” Turner said. “I’ve always had the decks stacked against me, so I haven’t had opportunities to rob myself all the time.
“I knew I had to make the most of it and really perform if I wanted to develop that credibility. The more you play, the more credibility you develop over time. There weren’t as many doors opening for me and when opportunities presented themselves, especially in the last few seasons, I was ready for them.
Turner, 27, will keep the New England goal for the last time when the Revolution (5-5-5) host Minnesota United FC (5-6-3) on Sunday night (5) at Gillette Stadium.
Turner came to New England as an undrafted free agent from Fairfield and is leaving one of the most influential players in club history. Turner enters his final game as the Revolution’s all-time leader among goaltenders in winning percentage (.590) with an MLS regular-season record of 43-25-33. He is third in clean sheets (22), second in saves (346), second in goals-against average (1.33) and second in save percentage (71.6).
The Revolution’s fortunes improved when Bruce Arena was hired as head coach and sporting director in May 2019 and Turner became a big factor in upgrading the team.
The New Jersey native ended the Revolution’s historic run in 2021 when he racked up an MLS regular season record 73 points and earned the first Supporter Shield in club history.
Turner turned that success into a spot on the United States Men’s National Team. Turner appeared in the World Cup qualifiers in March and has spent the past two weeks competing in the CONCACAF Nations League tournament.
Turner’s international resume includes 18 senior caps, 14 wins and 13 shutouts. Turner had four clean sheets in eight starts during the USA’s World Cup qualifying campaign and was named top goalkeeper at the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament.
Turner’s portfolio, while impressive this side of the pond, counts for little in the English Premier League. He’ll just be another roster guy competing for minutes. Turner accepted this because it has been that way his entire career.
“It’s going to be an amazing journey, but that novelty will wear off very soon because I understand going out there is going to take a lot of focus,” Turner said. “It’s going to take a lot of dedication and sacrifice and I’m going to have to do my best every day if I want to have even a hint of success.”