USMNT Keeper Set for Premier League Switch

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Hayden Schiff from Cincinnati, USA, CINvRIC 2017-07-09 - Matt Turner (40074313270) (cropped), CC BY 2.0

English Premier League club Arsenal has agreed to sign the United States Men’s National Team goalkeeper, Matt Turner from the New England Revolution, pending completion of a medical.

ESPN reported that Turner will head to England ahead of the 2022/23 Premier League season, getting underway full of confidence after a whirlwind few years which has seen the 27-year-old establish himself as his country’s number one goalkeeper.

The move will see the New Jersey-born player end his six-year association with the Revolution, who signed him in March 2016 after a successful trial period at the Gillette Stadium. Although he didn’t make his MLS debut until the start of the 2018 season, he has been almost ever-present in their matchday squad since. In 2020 he really made his name, as the fans of the Revolution named him the team MVP. He also collected accolades from his teammates too as they voted him their Player of the Year.

Turner’s performances for his club didn’t go unnoticed as Gregg Berhalter called him up to make his debut for the USA in their warm-up game for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup against Trinidad and Tobago, and the keeper justified his selection by saving a penalty in the 7-0 win.

2021 proved to be even more fruitful, as more accolades for club and country followed, with Turner playing a vital part in the USMNT victory in the Concacaf Gold Cup. He conceded just one goal in his six appearances and earned himself the goalkeeper of the tournament award. On home soil, he continued to impress, helping the Revolution to the top of the Eastern Conference, before missing out on the title to eventual MLS Cup winners, New York City.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta made a move to sign Turner as their German goalkeeper, and current second choice, Bernd Leno, is set to leave the Emirates Stadium this summer. Arteta wanted an experienced addition to their squad to challenge their current number one and England international, Aaron Ramsdale, to help revitalize their fortunes after several years starved of success. Arsenal have won three Premier League titles, but have now gone 18 years without the top prize. And they’re unlikely to lift it this year as they’re outsiders in the latest Coral Premier League odds. With Turner being relatively inexperienced at the top level, it’s quite a statement that Arsenal have chosen him to help them realize their ambitions. They aim to put the squeeze on champions Manchester City next season, who continue to breeze past all comers, but it’s a test Turner is relishing.

“I always want to be able to challenge myself at the highest level I possibly can.” He said. “It’s been tough for goalkeepers to get moves. So, I understand, I’m 27 and it’s something that I really want to do and really want to accomplish.”

Although Turner knows that if he fails to achieve a starting berth with his new club it could impact his selection for the USMNT at the World Cup, which takes place in Qatar later this year, he isn’t fazed.

“Going overseas and getting into a situation where maybe I’m not playing, or maybe I don’t adapt well to being in a foreign country before a World Cup might be challenging.

“There’s a lot of things I can take from [the US] and apply with the Revolution for the rest of 2022, and then going into a World Cup, after a World Cup, we can revisit.”