Turner, who finished second in 2020 Allstate MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting, officially re-signed with the Revs on Tuesday after previously signing a separate deal during the 2019 season. The quick turnaround, Turner said, involves an extra year and more money.
View it as a reward for Turner’s stellar play since entering the league in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Fairfield University. He still has European aspirations, as boosted by reports last summer that he acquired a Lithuanian passport, but also wants to leave his mark in Major League Soccer.
“For me, it was an easy decision to want to stay here and continue to prove myself in this league,” Turner said. “Regardless of whether I signed a new contract or I didn’t sign a new contract, if a European transfer was going to happen, it would take a purchase. For me, to get myself more money, Bruce [Arena] to reward a player who felt like he deserved that. He showed me that I played well and that I deserved more money.”
Turner was named as New England’s starter during the 2018 season when Brad Friedel, the former USMNT No. 1 and a National Soccer Hall of Fame member, was previously head coach. That vote of confidence allowed the 26-year-old to burst onto the MLS stage, and he’s earned Arena’s trust since the distinguished American coaching legend assumed his dual-role with the Revolution.
Named the Revolution’s MVP in 2020, Turner has played a key role as they’ve made back-to-back Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearances. The New Jersey native has carved out a home in the region, but still has aspirations.
“It feels really, really good but that doesn’t take away the fact that there is a desire for me,” Turner said. “I do want to challenge myself, I do want to go overseas, I do want to see the highest level that I can play this game at. But for now, to have this security is great. These are things you can’t really force.”
Turner clearly isn’t rushing that move, should it arise. It’d require a notable transfer after Turner’s latest contract extension, though his heart is clearly in New England as they look to build off their Eastern Conference Final appearance in 2020.
“Somebody once told me that soccer’s going to take you where soccer wants to take you, you can’t force it to take you anywhere,” Turner said. “So I trusted that advice that I received and I’m really happy. When I signed the contract, I can’t explain in any other way than it just felt right."