Major League Soccer

Matt Turner reveals the secret to saving Nani's penalty

Chris Smith
Turner is one of only three goalkeepers in MLS to save two penalties this season.
Turner is one of only three goalkeepers in MLS to save two penalties this season. / Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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Matt Turner has revealed how he was able to outfox Nani to save the Portuguese forward's penalty during the New England Revolution's 2-1 win over Orlando City.

A ninth-minute Adam Buksa strike and an own goal from Rodrigo Schlegel - either side of Daryl Dike's equaliser - had put the Revs 2-1 up at half-time.

But in the 73rd minute, centre-back Andrew Farrell clattered Dike in the box, leaving referee Rosendo Mendoza with no choice but to point at the spot.

"A foolish penalty to give away in a game where we were really in control," Revs head coach Bruce Arena said in his pre-match press conference.

Veteran forward Nani stepped up to try his luck from 12 yards, with a goal and a draw at this point a great result for Orlando to take away from the runaway Supporters' Shield leaders.

Nani began with a slow run-up before charging forward to strike the ball, but Turner had done his homework and stood firm as the penalty went straight down the middle.

"[Nani] has been changing his run-up in his past few penalties, so I know that he's trying to wait and wait and wait until the keeper makes his move," USMNT goalkeeper Turner told reporters after the match.

"Fortunately, I did bite a little bit early, but I was able to hold my momentum enough to cover the middle and he had it low enough where I was able to make a save on it. So, it's a good save, an important moment, but you know the best thing of all is three points.”

Turner has made the fifth-highest number of saves in MLS this season (75). He arguably only figures so far down the list thanks to playing fewer games than three of the players above him due to international call-ups.

The 27-year-old's ability to step up in big moments is why Revs teammate Tajon Buchanan named him as MLS' No.1 gloveman.

“Yeah, best goalkeeper in MLS," Buchanan said of Turner, who is one of just three goalkeepers in MLS to save two penalties this season. "I think we all know that. He's been saving us a lot in situations like that. So yeah, I’m super happy for him and obviously super happy that he's on this team.”

This latest victory leaves the Revs 17 points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference and 16 ahead in the Supporters' Shield race.

Up next for Arena's side is a trip to CF Montreal on Wednesday.

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