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New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner explains his Lithuanian passport and European aspirations

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner is arguably the most consistent goalkeeper in Major League Soccer right now and those steps forward have meant more national — and international — visibility for the 26-year-old.

In recent weeks, there has been plenty of speculation over a potential European move, rumors only fuelled by Turner obtaining a Lithuanian passport, something that would certainly help in any move across the Atlantic. But there is plenty more to the story, as Turner explained when he joined Jillian Sakovits and Tiffany Blackmon on the latest edition of The Call Up.

Turner stressed it was a three-year process to get the passport, one he started during the second semester of his senior year at Fairfield University when he wasn’t selected to participate in the MLS Combine or picked in the MLS SuperDraft.

“I wanted to play in MLS, I wanted to be in the United States, but when that didn’t feel like it was going to become a reality for me … I thought I would explore the avenue of getting the passport,” Turner said. “That way once I graduated college in May of 2016, I would have the ability to go over to Europe.”

Watch the full interview with Matt Turner on The Call Up

Turner, whose father’s side is Jewish and his mother’s side is Catholic, said in the process of cleaning out his now late grandfather’s house, he stumbled upon his great grandmother’s emigration papers from Lithuania. She fled from religious persecution during World War II.

Just as Turner was starting the process — his father also obtained a Lithuanian passport — he got a call from Remi Roy, who is currently the Revs director of scouting and player personnel, but was the goalkeeping coach at the time, inviting him to join the team in preseason.

As for the talk of a move to Europe, Turner admitted it would be hard to turn down, but there’s a lot left for him to accomplish in Foxborough.

“I want to win things here, I want to do things for the fans that deserve so much,” Turner said. “They’ve been here since the beginning of Major League Soccer. I feel like there’s still a lot I want to do for those fans.”

But if the right European offer fell on his plate?

“It would be hard to say no," he said. "I’m the type of person that relishes challenges and I would really love to challenge myself at the highest level possible. Also, the higher levels you play at, the better looks you’ll get with the national team. Part of my goals is to earn my first cap for the USA team.”


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