As the United States look to pull off a feat against the Netherlands in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup, they can rely on a solid goalkeeper in the person of Matt Turner. Arsenal's No. 2 goalkeeper, who is making a good start to the competition in Qatar, has a career that is atypical to say the least.

 ÉUnited States: the astonishing career of Matt Turner, solid goalkeeper for Team USA

  •  ÉUnited States: the amazing career of Matt Turner, solid goalkeeper for Team USA

    Netherlands 3 – 1

    ÉUnited States: the amazing journey by Matt Turner, solid Team USA goalkeeper

    United States

    • M. Depay 10'
    • D. Blind 45+1'
    • D. Dumfries 81'
    • H. Wright 76'

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โ€œIn five years, I see myself well in an investment bank. ยปFortunately for him, Matt Turner is not a medium, but a professional goalkeeper. Because here is 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 United States and the Netherlands, who will cross swords this Saturday (4 p.m.) 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 practice will have been enough for him to earn a place of choice in the world of football.

The fact that Matt Turner started playing "soccer" at the age of 16 lays the foundations, while his first real stories with the round ball, which he only started playing at the age of 14 to maintain himself physically and be in top shape for his two passions, basketball and baseball, are far from idyllic. Many often put his huge dumpling back on the table, in October 2013, when he was guarding the goals of Fairfield (division 1 university). On the fallout of a long shot crashing into his bar against Iona, Turner then failed to catch the ball, releasing it into his own goal after the leather bounced off his face.

Turner became a benchmark 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 of the usual holder and then returned to sit on the same bench that he had been waxing for 2 years. But this great-grandson of a Lithuanian immigrant who wanted to flee the Nazis in 1940 took advantage of this delicate situation to forge a real shell and bounce back better, after having seriously considered giving up football. Three years after this unfortunate episode, Matt Turner, who fell in love with football 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. The one who was inspired by YouTube videos to learn how to become a goalkeeper fairly quickly established himself with the New England Revolution, after having made his mark in the second division, on loan. Over the seasons, Matt Turner, taken by Brad Friedel under his wing with 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 held the role of No. 1 since July 2021, but also to the English Premier League.

Before heading to the Gunners

Propelled to the rank of best goalkeeper in MLS in 2021, Matt Turner convinced Arsenal to bet on him to officiate 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 games, 4 wins and 3 clean sheets), where he still missed the last two days of the group stage due to a slight injury. On the European scene, Matt Turner distinguished himself by making several decisive parades and showing himself at ease in the London cages. His only goal conceded, in Zurich, was from a penalty.

Turner also takes Team USA to Qatar

In terms of his performance, Matt Turner is now in line 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 only one goal, on penalty (from Bale against Wales), as with his club (bringing his total to 5 clean sheets in 7 games this season). Otherwise, the American is irreproachable and reassuring on his goal line, like his decisive parades against Ben Davies or Mason Mount.

Matt Turner has an interesting kicking game ( 93% of successful passes in his half of the field since the start of the competition), even paid the luxury of being at the origin of the first goal of Team USA against Iran (1-0) thanks to his perfect raise. More confident than ever, the Arsenal goalkeeper proclaims his ambitions loud and clear. โ€œI want this responsibility, to show myself on the world stage, he recently declared. It's the first time I've said this out loud: I feel like I deserve to play. ยป What better way to shine than a round of 16 World Cup to shine?

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