Head Coach of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team, Greg Berhalter, recently informed Fairfield alum Matt Turner’17, of his selection for the squad. The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar starting this Sunday, with the first U.S. game on Monday, November 21 against Wales. 

Turner always seemed to defy the odds. He did not start playing goalie until he was 14, and he only started to play at Fairfield University beginning his third year. 

After going undrafted in the 2016 MLS draft, Turner was signed by the New England Revolution. Coming into the 2017 season, he was loaned out to the Richmond Kickers, a team in the 2nd division of American soccer. There he played well in his 27 starts and was looking to compete for a job on the Revolution.

In 2018, Turner went from third string to starting goalkeeper. He made his MLS debut on March 3, 2018. After an up-and-down season in 2018, he finished as an MLS goalkeeper-of-the-year finalist in 2019

To follow up his momentum from 2019, Turner had an outstanding 2020 campaign, making a name for himself across the entire league. He once again finished as an MLS goalkeeper of the year finalist, coming in 2nd place. Turner gave up only 24 goals in 22 games and had six clean sheets. In 2021, he had another phenomenal season and finally earned MLS goalkeeper of the year honors, leading his team to 17 regular season wins, tying an MLS record. 

In February of 2022, it was announced that Turner would be joining Arsenal in the premier league. This came as a surprise to some, but to those who follow soccer closely, he was bound to move to another country to continue growing his career. In his short time with Arsenal, Turner was impressive, having multiple clean sheets during Europa League play. 

As far as his performance with the National team, he made his debut in 2021 and ended up starting all six games for the U.S. in the Gold Cup. The U.S. had an excellent performance in the Gold Cup and went on to defeat Mexico 1-0 in the final. Turner earned goalkeeper of the tournament, which was a big honor. 

Looking forward to the World Cup, it is not definite that Turner will start, but it looks like it is his job to lose at this point. His previous competition in net was Zack Steffen who did not make the roster. 

With all of Matt’s hard work, there is nobody more deserving than him to start in net for the USMNT in the World Cup. Once a stag always a stag! 

Keep proving people wrong Matt. We stags wish you luck in the World Cup!

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