During his 20-minute zoom conversation with reporters, Greg Berhalter revealed that midfielder Weston McKenney will return to the starting line-up for the U.S. men’s national team on Thursday after missing two recent World Cup qualifiers due to discipline.
So he agreed to go public with that decision, but when Sporting News asked him if he had chosen an early goalkeeper to play for Jamaica between Matt Turner, Jack Stephen and Shawn Johnson, Barhalter declined.
“We’re working through the final lineup this afternoon, and we’ll see,” Barhalter told SNC on Wednesday. “We’ll keep you posted.”
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Which means we probably know a little more an hour before the game.
And it will almost certainly be Turner.
As it should be.
But almost not a word thrown by chance.
Barhalter didn’t really have to think too much about the position when the USMNT gathered for the first three of 14 games in September as they would play in a bid to secure a position at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Turner (above) performed brilliantly to help the United States win the Gold Cup tournament in early August; Most of the time in the Stephen Nations League tournament the team saw the Americans win too, but he got injured late in the final and was replaced for the rest of the rules and extra time. But before the El Salvado game that qualified, Stephen Back was annoyed by the spam. So Turner had an obvious choice to start and a shutout was made. And then Stefan tested positive for Covid-1 for before Nashville’s Canada game, and so the net was Turner’s again, and this time he made a great save early which eventually contributed to a 1-1 draw and then a solid against Honduras. -1-1 street win.
With both players now available at camp, Berhalter’s choice is not entirely clear. He has a history with Stephen, he has been a regular at USMNT since head coach in 2019 and has been in two seasons with Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer.
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Barhalter appeared to reveal a choice of Turner in a conversation with reporters last week. Asked about his “goal chart”, citing Turner’s recent performance, Barhalter replied, “Matt is an example of taking advantage of his chances. He did it in the Gold Cup, and he did it again in the first game of the qualifiers.” But then he tried to recreate the mystery. Did saying that the coaches look at the club form of all the goals and previous performances with the national team.
“All I can say is that Matt is doing a great job. We know Jack. We know what he can bring. Shawn Johnson is another person who is playing well with NYC, ”Barhalter said. “We think we have great cover, great depth in the goalkeeper’s position.”
The 22-year-old Turner has been a regular starter in the New England Revolution since 201 England and has had at least five shutouts per season since then. The Revs are the best team in the league this season, and their reputation has been further enhanced by their great shot-stopping in six Gold Cup matches. He did not score a single goal in five of the six matches.
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Removing him from the lineup now will send an intriguing message to his teammates, who have seen how Turner excelled in Starfen’s absence.
Stephen is a talented and efficient player, and he has more experience to help his team play from behind, but moving to Manchester City means playing less frequently. City’s starter is Brazil’s Ederson, who is considered one of the top defenders in the world. Stephen has played 12 domestic cups in two seasons and once in the Champions League and Premier League.
Turner is a viable option if he breaks down, but there are no signs that anything like that is likely to happen. Berhalter won’t say it until 6:30 ET on Thursday, but although he has options, he has no options.