But the New England Revolution star has reached an even loftier status, according to Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle, who calls the 26-year-old the best shot-stopper in MLS history.
“I’ve watched MLS from day one and he is the best pure shot-stopper I’ve ever seen in this league,” he said on Extratime. “He just is. He doesn’t make mistakes. He makes big saves, he stays big.”
Behind Turner on Doyle’s list? Legendary Tim Howard, who started his MLS career with the then-MetroStars before moving on to Manchester United and Everton in the Premier League and finishing up with the Colorado Rapids. “Tim Howard was absolutely absurd, but the difference is Tim Howard was more mistake prone as a young player than Turner. I think this kid’s upside is a starter at a top Premier League club.
“Now, he might not get there because things happen, but the eye test, the advanced stats and the boxscore stats all kind of align if you really want to take a look at what Matt Turner has done.”
The latest example of Turner’s exploits as a shot-stopper came on his US men’s national team debut in a 7-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago Sunday in Orlando when Turner dived to his right to deny Alvin Jones from the penalty spot where he again made history.
⏮ to that penalty save from Matt Turner on Sunday.— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) February 3, 2021
All of our available research says @HeaddTurnerr is the first modern era goalkeeper to save a penalty kick in his #USMNT debut.
Way to go Matt! 👊🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Mlo38vMwAX
Turner, who owns a Lithuanian passport and has drawn some European interest, signed a contract extension with the Revs Jan. 19. It’s a reward for a job well done, but also about unfinished business for a goalkeeper who went undrafted.
“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.”