New England Revolution teammates Matt Turner (United States) and Tajon Buchanan (Canada) have won major post-tournament awards for their performances in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup, following the thrilling 1-0 final Sunday night.
Turner won the Best Goalkeeper Award after posting five clean sheets in six starts for the USMNT, recording 23 saves along the way. The only goal he conceded was a penalty kick against Martinique during their second Group B game. He came up huge in the title-deciding game against Mexico, wrestling regional control back from the USMNT’s arch-rival.
Buchanan earned the Young Player Award, with the 22-year-old winger showing impressive versatility for a Les Rouges side that announced itself to Concacaf. He finished with one goal and one assist, scoring in their 2-1 semifinal defeat to Mexico and assisting in Canada’s Group B-opening romp of Martinique.
With his Gold Cup performances, the 27-year-old Turner has firmly entered the conversation of claiming the USMNT’s No. 1 shirt during World Cup qualifying, which begins with a Sept. 2 game against El Salvador. Zack Steffen (Manchester City) and Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest) are also in contention, though Turner’s proven to be an impressive shot-stopper and strong with his feet.
As for Buchanan, this summer's Gold Cup only further boosted his stock on the transfer market, with Revolution head coach/sporting director Bruce Arena recently confirming there’s been interest in the speedster. New England seem intent on maintaining his services through the 2021 MLS season, with a possible move then arriving in January.
With Turner and Buchanan away at the Gold Cup, the Revolution have rattled off four straight wins and moved atop the Supporters’ Shield standings with 36 points through 17 games. Now, alongside center back Henry Kessler (USMNT injury replacement for Walker Zimmerman), the duo should only lift New England’s level upon their return.
Other key Gold Cup awards included Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera (Best Player Award), Jamaica forward Bobby Reid (Goal of the Tournament) and Qatar forward Almoez Ali (Top Scorer Award).