Matt Turner has opened up on which goalkeepers inspired him to chase a professional career in soccer – naming Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel among them.
The 27-year-old had to be patient for his rise to the top, failing to even be selected in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft before finally being picked up by the New England Revolution.
But over the past couple of years, Turner has truly asserted himself and 2021 has reaped generous rewards for all his hard work. Not only has Turner won the Supporters’ Shield with the Revs, but he also picked up the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award and won 12 caps for the United States Men’s National Team, offering a serious threat to Zack Steffen’s position as No.1.
So, who were the goalkeepers that made Turner dream as a young fan watching on TV and from the stands? Fernando Muslera is his first pick.
“He’s at Galatasaray right now. He was playing for the Uruguayan national team at the time when I started,” Turner told 90min‘s Football Americana podcast. “I really loved just his swagger about his game. I loved that he was wearing all the same color in goal in the 2010 World Cup.”
Turner continued: “From there I just looked up on Google, I’ll never forget it, best goalkeeper saves, and a 10-minute video of Peter Schmeichel came up. And that was the video that I saw where I was like, whoa, this is an amazing position. It’s so unique.
“I watched a ton of sports growing up. I loved playing baseball, basketball, and football, obviously, and I watched them religiously.
“But after watching the way Peter Schmeichel had control of his body and all the different facets of his game, it just blew me away. And I thought to myself that there was nothing, I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. This position, first of all, and also the sport of soccer.
“Just the passion that goes into it, from the fans and the way it brings people together. I just had never seen anything like it in sports here in the United States. So it was definitely a big draw and that was really sort of what got me really into soccer.”
If Turner can go on to achieve even half the success Schmeichel and Muslera have enjoyed, the USMNT will have one of the world’s best goalkeepers in their ranks for years to come.
You can listen to the latest episode of the Football Americana podcast in full here.