FOXBOROUGH — Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner emerged from the 2018 preseason as Brad Friedel’s No. 1, holding onto that job for a majority of the season. It had come as a surprise to many in Revs Colony: a young keeper beating out the competition in Brad Knighton and Cody Cropper? Just what in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?
And for a good portion of the season, he did well. At one point, he had acknowledged the work he had put in with the USL’s Richmond Kickers in 2017, especially that of free kicks in dangerous areas. Case in point: a massive save of D.C. United — now FC Cincinnati — striker Darren Mattocks, who had looked for the Upper 90 in their June 30 contest at Gillette Stadium.
Turner put on his Superman cape and rose to deny Mattocks the goal in what turned into a 3-2 Revs win.
Yet as the 2019 preseason opened two-plus weeks ago in Foxborough, the New Jersey native acknowledged that he still had plenty of work to do during the offseason, especially after he found himself supplanted by Knighton for most of September and October.
“There were obviously a couple of areas of my game that I needed to polish up and get a lot better at,” Turner said outside the Revolution locker room prior to the club's trip to Marbella, Spain, which wraps up today. “I need to still get better with my feet, get comfortable with the ball, and that’s an area of my game where I feel like I can make improvements and help this team. Coming out for crosses and dealing with distribution into the box.
“My shot-stopping has been good all year and just those areas of the game, game-management and more experience is going to help me more and more.”