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SBI USMNT Man of the Match: Matt Turner

Matt Turner’s night didn’t start off on the best note, but the 29-year-old responded in a big way to help the U.S. men’s national team earn a first-ever draw with Brazil.

Turner registered 11 saves on Wednesday as Gregg Berhalter’s side earned a 1-1 result against the No. 5-ranked Brazilians. The USMNT shot-stopper earned SBI Man of the Match honors after denying one of the world’s dynamic attacks on several occasions.

“He stayed calm. That’s the most important thing,” Berhalter said postmatch about Turner. “He stayed calm. I thought he managed the game well. That was an incident that could have set him back a little bit into the offense, but he responded really well to that.

“He wasn’t so happy with his performance last game, and as you can see, he came out and had a much better game.”

A poor clearance from Turner in the 17th minute allowed Rodrygo to score the opening goal for Brazil, but the Nottingham Forest man didn’t let that hamper his attitude.

Turner excelled in the second half, repelling several Brazil offensive efforts as the match pushed forward. Rodrygo’s flicked effort was punched away by Turner before Endrick’s low drive was also gathered by the USMNT veteran.

Vinicius Junior came closest to winning the match for Brazil in the 87th minute, but his left-footed strike was pushed away by Turner.

Per OptaJack, Turner’s 11 saves were the most by a USMNT goalkeeper since Tim Howard’s 15 against Belgium at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. After a tough showing against Colombia last Saturday, Turner will have plenty to be proud of from his midweek outing in Orlando.

Turner edged out Christian Pulisic, Joe Scally, and Antonee Robinson for Man of the Match honors.

What did you think of Turner’s performance? Do you still see him as the longterm No. 1 goalkeeper for the USMNT?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Stoked for Turner. My gawd we and he needed that performance so badly. If we are going to play with the big boys, it all starts with rock solid goalkeeping. And we also need to fastback, integrate some younger alternatives. The nature of the game, injuries, form- you simply can’t over rely on any one player.

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  2. to me it was more of a team effort game. i can’t say turner because he screwed up repeatedly on distribution and allowed a goal before making a bunch of saves. plus i wish he’d pick more of those saves clean because they had plenty of chances off rebounds.

    likewise, pulisic scores a seeing-eye free kick that should have been saved but blows 2 wide open chances. and was generally a bit ball-hog.

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  3. Obviously a massive bounce back match for Turner. I thought he was going to be benched which would have been a knee jerk reaction by Berhalter. Great saves but still hampered his team with distribution leading to the goal by Brazil.
    Really saw a higher workrate from Gio especially in the midfield and defensive third. He did a lot of defending and maintaining defensive shape and sticking some tackles. Not something I have seen Gio do much of in the past and shows his willingness to be a team player.
    Scally, did a little more than anyone expected but his team needed a great performance out of him. His value and trust was gained by his performance but there is more he can do. He needs to link up better with the midfield and make more accurate line breaking passes . He missed a few passes that could have opened up Brazil but the key thing is he saw where the ball should have gone.
    Pulisic competed and lead his team very well! He wanted to be the dude and did whatever he could with his chances and creating chances. If he finishes one of his two shots he would have been “the Dude” last night. Considering the talent level at the forward positions last night Pulisic was just as good or better than his peers. Score a goal from the run of play and elevated his stature. Still his set piece finish was pretty brilliant and seemed well rehearsed
    Berhalter and his staff did an outstanding job preparing the squad. Shows he is not fragile nor prone to making hasty decisions. Reflected in his team coming out and playing prepared and with poise. Showed a lot fight for 90+ and most of all Brazil knew they were in a fight. The lone goal against Colombia was really a chalkboard scenario. Gio got the ball at midfield and showed patience on the ball while his teammates got width, spacing, and then movement into dangerous areas. The ball then follows players in proper space and movement. My point is team does not need to play hyper fast and look for low percentage balls from out wide or in the channels. They have some skill that plays best when patient and let the preparedness show itself. The oh shit moments should be infrequent when players do there job and teammates recognize a defensive breakdown. Easier said then done but talent and potential only perform when everyone works and competes together. The set piece goal was well executed and credit to the staff for preparing the players and of course Pulisic executing.
    MOTM was a collective

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  4. Turner, yes. Scally, a close second. Not only did Scally play excellent defense, he went forward a lot more and on one attack about halfway through the second half he made a wonderful pass while at high speed at the top of the Brazil box. It led to a centering pass that almost resulted in a goal.

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    • Every goal keeper needs to work and continue to work on distribution, touch, working with the ball. Let’s be real. Turner didn’t touch a soccer ball until high school- he ain’t NEVER going to be great with the ball at his feet. Setting up our team to rely on that with any regularity is pure folly and increases the chances of disaster with every touch. We all know this as we cover our eyes watching it go down. Pick your poison- don’t try to ram a square peg into round hole- if you’re unbending about playing that way- you have to compromise elsewhere and bring in a keeper who has that skillset. Shulte is much better than Turner win that regard. Bring him in post Olympics.

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