Jul. 8—”It’s just understanding the intensity of it’s not just the opponent,” Turner said on a Zoom call with reporters Friday. “It’s just also the moment of playing in games where the margins are fine, so making that extra run, making that extra effort to get into the box on the end of crosses, making that extra effort to block crosses on a defensive end, or make that recovery run. And it’s not about who you play, it’s about you know, sort of what it takes to win in this style of game.”
The U.S. was strong in the the group stage, with one tie to Jamaica (1-1 score) and no losses. America beat both Trinidad and Tobago as well as Saint Kitts and Nevis 6-0.
“I’ve seen like a great camaraderie, great togetherness, fair competition, and just guys pushing each other, you know, pushing each other striving to get better, but then also supporting each other on the other side, even if things don’t go their way,” Turner said.
The Arsenal keeper has enjoyed sharing the pitch with Dejuan Jones, a former teammate of his during his New England Revolution days. Turner joined the Revolution in 2016 when he impressed the coaching staff enough after a training exhibition to garner a contract.
He worked his way up to become the club’s starting goalkeeper and eventually won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2021.
Jones came on the scene when New England selected him with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
The defender just made his fourth USMNT appearance and tallied his first assist. Turner could not help but be happy for his “birthday buddy.”
“We obviously were really close when we were in New England. I’m really grateful he got to spend some more time with Ashley (Turner’s wife) and my son Easton, and get to know them a little bit,” Turner said. “I got to see his family as well. People I haven’t seen in probably like, a year’s time or so. And that’s always nice to have those connections, that’s part of what I love about this game.”
Turner has become one of the most reliable players on America’s roster, a welcome quality as the goalkeeper. In 30 caps, he’s become the fastest USMNT goalkeeper to achieve 20 wins and 20 shutouts.
He’s two shutouts shy of tying legendary USMNT goalkeeper Tim Howard, who recorded eight shutouts in the Gold Cup. Turner will look to achieve another shutout against Canada, whom America beat 2-0 in the CONCACAF Nations League Final on June 18.
Although a triumph is the short term goal for the USMNT, according to Turner.
“The more we have exposure to these types of games, the more will grow and you know, we’re looking at it as a building block, sort of into the future,” Turner said. “This will be the first taste a lot of these guys have of this style of game with this much intensity and you know that much on the line … Hopefully, you know, we come out with the positive result.”