USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner has spoken about his upcoming transfer to Arsenal for the first time during MLS is Back media day, revealing that he plans to compete with current starter Aaron Ramsdale and use it to help his international career as well.
Turner, who will make the move from New England Revolution to north London in July, has not had a typical journey to success, initially struggling to gain attention early in his career.
He played collegiate soccer at Fairfield University, turning to the MLS SuperDraft as the next step before ultimately going undrafted. As a free agent, he had a successful trial with the Revs but failed to make the senior team during his first couple of years.
Following a pair of loan stints with second-tier side Richmond Kickers, Turner climbed up to the starting line-up. In 2018, his work finally paid off.
“My path was carved very uniquely and it will continue to go that way. I mean, I'm 27, almost 28. I've been playing really well for the better part of three years, and [Arsenal] is the first club to make a concrete offer,” he said.
“I understand that it's really challenging to get your foot in the door. So it's really hard to say no to not only the chance to go fulfill a dream, but also to go challenge myself at the highest level and play for one of the biggest and most recognizable brands in the world in Arsenal.
"When I first started, I was trying to become a professional soccer player," he said. "Most teams said no. I came in and I was a No. 3, [then] I was a two. When I got my first chance with the national team it was only as the number three. No one ever really took me seriously,” said Turner, preparing for the challenges that come with a move to England's Premier League.
“So I'm not going over there just to collect a check and ride off into the sunset. I'm going to push myself, I’m going to push Aaron [Ramsdale] and continue to help him get better and help myself get better. And obviously I'm going to try to challenge for games.”
Turner's international career has been no different. He constantly battles Manchester City’s Zack Steffen for the chance to start in goal. With the two USMNT goalkeepers in the Premier League, that competition will rise to new heights.
“Gregg [Berhalter] was a big supporter of this move. So at the end of the day, it's going to be how I continue to progress,” said Turner. “Also the style of play Arsenal plays is one that is similar to what Gregg is trying to implement with the national team. So it'll be more exposure to that type of play. And I think it's going to help me in the long run.
“I've been playing well for a long time and these windows are few and far between. So any opportunity you get to make that jump, get your foot in the door and then sort of see what happens, you kind of have to take that chance, especially when it comes to a club like Arsenal.
"This is a way for me to show my ambition and show that I want to work on things that maybe I'm not as good at as Steffen is, and then challenge myself at the highest level possible. That's always been my goal as a soccer player."
Turner will remain with the New England Revolution until the summer before officially joining Arsenal. He is to stay as an active participant of the MLS side, playing in the Concacaf Champions League and 2022 Major League Soccer season.