McIntyre: Matt Turner Deserves a Start Tuesday for USMNTby Cullen McIntyre November 18, 2019 1 comment
The United States Men’s National Team is without their goalkeeper Zack Steffen during the current international break. Steffen was left out due to knee tendinitis, leaving head coach Gregg Berhalter to select Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, and Matt Turner.
Guzan, the most experienced of the three with 63 caps at the international level, started in the first game of the break as USMNT toppled Canada, 4-1. Berhalter’s side finishes the break with a match against Cuba on Tuesday, whom they demolished 7-0 last month.
While it is an expected win for the USMNT, it should also be the first cap for Turner in goal. Turner is a 25-year-old keeper whose standout performances for the New England Revolution this season earned him his first call-up to the national team. Under new head coach Bruce Arena, Turner flourished between the sticks as the Revolution finished seventh in Major League Soccer after only winning one of their first seven matches.
A win for Berhalter’s side will secure them first place atop of Group A in the CONCAF Nations League, tied with Canada for points but with a higher goal differential seeing them through. Even without their star forward Christian Pulisic, who is out with a hip injury, the USMNT should have no problem winning comfortably against Cuba and taking first place in the group.
That being said, it’s the perfect time to hand Turner a cap in a position that has been an issue for the USMNT as of late. With Berhalter attempting to implement a system where the keeper is involved in playing around the back, Steffen has struggled and had issues in the system.
Turner has had no issues moving between systems, as his adaption under Arena earned him a shortlisting on the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year list, with five clean sheets and 87 saves in his 20 appearances for the Revs this season. Berhalter will have a variety of choices in goal for the expected win over Cuba, but the New Jersey native deserves the start in net.