There is a new MLS season on the horizon, in which the New England Revolution will be defending the Supporters’ Shield. On top of that, Matt Turner has the excitement of a summer move to Arsenal of the English Premier League ahead of him too. In his latest press conference, the Revolution goalkeeper spoke on the transfer itself and what he expects when in England.
Matt Turner discusses the season to come in Boston
The Revolution will get their 2022 season underway with a visit to Providence Park where they’ll face Gio Savarese’s Portland Timbers. On the here and now, Turner said, “My goal when I got here was to leave New England, leave the organization, a better place than it was when I first got here, and I think we’re well on the way to those things.”
Turner joined New England back in 2016 — in that time has gone from a squad player to a starter for the USMNT, as well as the best goalkeeper in MLS.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) February 14, 2022
Turner may be on his way out of the club later this year but there were of course some new arrivals in the off-season. Most notably, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Lletget were brought in from Toronto and the LA Galaxy respectively. When discussing what he has planned for this coming season, the Revolution goalkeeper said that he will, “help new guys like Jozy [Altidore] and Seba [Lletget] get acclimated to New England and understand what it means to be a Revolution player.”
Another new face on the block is in the same position as Matt Turner. Jacob Jackson, who will don the shirt number 98, has been signed by the Revolution after going 24th in the 2022 SuperDraft. Jackson is just 21 and he joins the pool that currently contains Turner, Brad Knighton and Earl Edwards Jr. When Turner was absent last season, Knighton deputized very well but it still remains to be seen who will fill the void come July.
Welcome to the first team, Jacob Jackson.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) February 15, 2022
On the topic of Jackson and Turner was asked about the youngster.
“He’s a great kid, he’s eager to learn, and reminds me a lot of myself, actually, when I first got into MLS,” Turner said. “I don’t want to hype him up too much in an interview if he sees this, because I know every day in training I’m going to be pretty hard on him.”
Turner spoke openly and passionately about the role he can play in Jackson’s development. “I think he was a steal in this draft, and I’m excited to be working with him every single day, and I think, like I said, bright future ahead for him.”
Turner peels back the lid on his Arsenal move
Whilst there is a huge title defending season ahead for Matt Turner and the Revolution, it is hard to overlook the North London-based elephant in the room. A lot of the players swapping MLS for Europe, whether it be a New England man like Tajon Buchanan or the likes of Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas) and Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg), are all in the early stages of their careers.
Turner, on the other hand is more experienced, something which he touched on. “I’m 27, almost 28, I’ve been playing really well for the better part of three years… it’s really hard to say no to not only the chance to go fulfill a dream, but also to go challenge myself at the highest level.”
Altidore has previously mentioned how he idolized Thierry Henry, especially at Arsenal, and the same goes for Turner. A lot of players are drawn to the Gunners thanks to the forward, as well as another Frenchman, Arsene Wenger. On the move to his beloved Arsenal finally being confirmed, the shot-stopper said, “it was a very sort of euphoric day for me in my life and my career.”
We love to see it! 👏 pic.twitter.com/dfq4lBj1x2
— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) February 17, 2022
Footballers being humanized is something MLS thrives in and Matt Turner is definitely a lovable character. An eagle-eyed journalist asked him about his choice of shirt: it was a NJ/NY Gotham FC jersey.
“I’m from New Jersey, New York, I’ve got to rep the home state, the home team, promote NWSL any way I can, and hopefully Gotham have a great season in NWSL,” he said. Turner then went on to say that Gotham General Manager Yael Averbuch is ‘a good friend.’