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As we all know by now, Matt Turner signed a contract earlier this year with Arsenal in the EPL.  Much has been made of his potential odds of cracking the Arsenal starting lineup, or how it will affect his chances of traveling with the USMNT to the World Cup in Qatar.  I’ll leave those articles to those far more qualified than I.  People who better understand the nuances of the position.

What I do understand, is what it feels like to be a Revs fan right now.  I understand the swirling cocktail of pride, sadness, joy, and uncertainty that lots of New Englanders are feeling.  Feelings that were, no doubt, intensified by the decision NOT to play Turner in his “farewell match”.

The Revs would go on to win 2-1 vs Minnesota last night and, in doing so, stretched their unbeaten run to 8 games.  Still, the idea that most Revs fans watched Matt Turner play against Philadelphia on May 28th without realizing it would be the last time… well, it kinda sucks.

Life goes on, of course, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to remember his time with the Revolution than to compile my top 5 favorite Matt Turner saves.  In no particular order:

His First Start on March 03, 2018

Like most Revs fans I got my first glimpse of Matt Turner in the 2018 season opener, when he got his first MLS start under new head coach, Brad Friedel.  Turner impressed Friedel during the preseason and was able to overtake Brad Knighton and Cody Cropper in the goalkeeper pecking order.  I won’t say that I knew from that moment, he would be bound for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and a big move to Arsenal, but it was clear that he could play.

The defense, however, could not play.  2 red-cards to Revolution center-backs meant this game would end a 2-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union.

Coming-Out-Party vs ATL 2018

When it started to become clear that he was perhaps something special, was around the middle of the 2018 season.  Particularly this home match against Eastern Conference favorites Atlanta United.  Their combo of (eventual 2018 golden boot winner) Josef Martinez, (eventual record Newcastle signing) Miguel Almiron, and ($15M transfer) Ezequiel Barco had been tearing opposing defenses apart.  The Revs defense, as it turns out, was not immune.

Matt Turner, on the other hand, was a brick wall in net.  Atlanta cut through New England’s high back-line time and time again (thanks Brad Friedel), and time and time again Turner was there to make the stop 1-v-1.  It was tough, but I chose this highlight to showcase his quick reaction and strong hands to push it just high enough to avoid a goal.  The Revs would draw 1-1 thanks to a Teal Bunbury goal in the 88th minute.

Nani PK save in the 2020 Playoffs

One of the things that brought great joy to many Revolution fans was how utterly dominant Turner was vs penalty kicks.  Since first getting the start with the Revs, he saved 50% of the penalties faced (across all competitions).  A significant part of that was blanking former champions league winner, Nani, from the spot.  Not once, but twice.

 

This save is the more impressive of the two because it took place during an MLS playoff match, with New England holding a tenuous 2-1 advantage.  Thanks to the momentum shift of this penalty save, they would go on to win 3-1.

USMNT save vs MEX

In 2021, after narrowly missing out on the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, he was given a chance to play for Gregg Berhalter’s United States team.  After stopping a penalty in his first start with the USMNT against Trinidad and Tobago, Berhalter decided to give him a run out at the CONCACAF Gold Cup over the summer. To say he impressed, would be an understatemtent.  It was his steady hands and quick reaction time that would eventually earn him the tournament’s Best Goalkeeper honors.

 

I chose this save for it’s acrobatics, but also because of the stakes.  This save came against tournament favorites, Mexico, in the cup final.  A game the US would go on to win 1-0.

Huge Last Minute Save of Maxi Moralez

The 2021 Revolution were good.  Record-settingly good.  However, there were plenty of people who were firmly on the “NYCFC is the best” bandwagon.  We won’t discuss how it ended, but for a brief moment, New England was king.  The Revs went on the road to Yankee Stadium, and stole a 3-2 victory from the eventual MLS Cup Champions.

Turner was an absolute beast in this match.  By the point in the match this highlight is from, he had already stopped a breakaway goal and saved a penalty from eventual Golden Boot winner, Taty Castellanos.  This match represents, in my opinion, his best ever in a Revs uniform.

Did I miss a sitter?  What was your favorite Turner save?

photo credit: @NERevolution

 

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