Matt Turner shows why you should never give up

As soccer career trajectories go, Matt Turner’s route to becoming an established English Premier League goalkeeper has been longer and windier than most.

While many of his United States men’s national team colleagues broke out early and even secured moves to Europe in their teens, Turner has had to be patient in his quest to reach the top.

But, following his summer transfer from Arsenal to Nottingham Forest, the 29-year-old now has the stage to showcase his undoubted ability to a much wider audience on a much more regular basis.

Forest transfer to benefit USMNT

In trading Arsenal for Forest, Turner may have switched from a team expected to challenge Manchester City for the title to a side that started the season with Premier League winner odds of +100000 but his move will benefit both himself and the USMNT. Most football betting tips will also have predicted Forest to have another season of struggling near the bottom of the table, but Turner’s presence can ensure Steve Cooper’s side can continue to look forward to Premier League soccer in 2024-25.

It has been some journey for Turner to get to this stage, though. He only seriously took up soccer a few years before heading to college and even his experience at Fairfield University proved to be a trying time.

What Turner has shown, though, is how far a mix of natural talent, dedication, perseverance and patience can take you.

His collegiate career at Fairfield saw him not always be a regular starter and one infamous mistake saw him taken out of the team for a spell, which provided him with the opportunity to work on the mental side of his game as well as the technical aspects.

After failing to be selected in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, Turner remained unbowed and earned himself a deal at the New England Revolution after a successful trial. He had loans at Richmond Kickers before being chosen to start for the Revs in 2018, but even then, it was not smooth sailing toward the top.

Photo by Huy Phan / Pexels

Moving to the next level

In 2021, Turner really took his game to the next level as he made his debut for the USMNT before winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he was named goalkeeper of the tournament. He followed that up by being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

Given how Turner had improved with the ball at his feet, to go alongside his natural athleticism and talent as a shot-stopper, it was no surprise when a major European team eventually made its move as he joined Arsenal in 2022. Though he did not play in the Premier League during his one year with Arsenal, he kept four clean sheets in the seven matches he did start, and he will have gained valuable experience working under Mikel Arteta.

In moving to Forest, Turner has undoubtedly given up the chance to regularly compete for trophies, but he has given himself the platform to eventually move to a bigger club again and, when he does, he will be heading there as a guaranteed starter and someone who is a beacon for why you should never give up.  

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