FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Chris Tierney’s dramatic late winner sealed three precious points for the New England Revolution in their home opener against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, but it wasn’t the only pivotal moment in the Revs’ 2-1 victory.
Third-year goalkeeper Matt Turner, making his home debut at Gillette Stadium, also provided a game-changing play, diving to his right to save Jack Price’s penalty in the 53rd minute.
“That was a big moment,” said head coach Brad Friedel. “You need all players, if they have the opportunity, to be sort of the heroes at times in games, and Matt had the opportunity today with a very important penalty save.”
Turner was unveiled as the starting goalkeeper last week in the Revs’ season opener in Philadelphia, and he continued to show why he earned the right to start at home against Colorado. The 23-year-old spent the past two years learning the ropes as the third-string goalkeeper, and after working tirelessly in training, has shown the new coaching staff that he has what it takes.
His penalty save not only kept the Rapids at bay at a critical juncture, but it also gave the Revs an emotional boost that they needed to finish the game strong.
“You saw everyone, how pumped up everyone was, and Matt Turner did that for us,” said Scott Caldwell, who wore that captain’s armband with Claude Dielna serving a one-game suspension. “It was big time to step up. We’re not always going to be able to block everything in front so for someone to make a big play like that and have our backs, its really, really important.”
While the team was visibly pumped up after the massive save, it was evident that Turner himself was feeling both proud and confident of his performance.
“I think Matt was the most excited for us,” said Kelyn Rowe. “He was a kid in a candy store, and it was great because he made a great save and he kept us in this game.”
To build on Turner’s huge contribution on the field, starting at home in front of the Revs’ supporters for the first time also left Turner riding an emotional high.
“They were singing their hearts out for me,” said Turner. “It was just a really special moment because for two years I sat on the side and had to watch them sing to other people, and they welcomed me with open arms. It was really just a special moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”