New England Revolution 2021 Roster Preview: Part V

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Goalkeepers

The final player part of the roster is the goalkeepers. After looking at those in front of them, the shot shoppers are up for their breakdown.

Goalkeeping is the one area for the Revolution that there are no questions about going into the season. Matt Turner is returning for his second season as the undisputed starter for the Revolution. With Brad Knighton back for his 9th season with the Revolution, the backup spot is trustworthy.

Matt Turner

Those eyes, those damn eyes. Photocredit: Revolution Communications

What hasn’t been said about Matt Turner’s 2020 season? In his 22 starts, Matt Turner was again a wall the Revolution needed. Turner allowed 24 goals creating a 1.09 goals-against percentage and a 76 save percentage, 9th and 7th best in MLS, respectively. His performance earned him his third call up to the National team camp, and Turner finally was awarded his first start with the United States. In which he saved a penalty again in Orlando, just was cheered this time.

Coming off a 2nd place finishing in Goalkeeper of the Year, Turner is considered one of the top goalkeepers in the league. While many will debate between him and Andre Blake in Philadelphia, it will again be on Turner to improve this season. His command of his area improved significantly in 2020. Turner was heard due to the lack of fans in attendance throughout the season. This year he needs to improve his distribution. In the one weakness of his game, Turner has a career 69.7 percent passing accuracy. His distribution could still get better while he has improved to turn him into an unstoppable force.

2021 will be another successful year for Turner, but it may sadly be his last for the Revolution. If he continues to show the growth and potential we all see, European clubs will come looking for his services. I do expect to see more clean sheets from Turner this season. He has looked better with his passing in his one appearance for the National Team, but can he succeed with the Revolution? I believe so, and I think you are going to see a spectacular goalkeeper this coming season.

Brad Knighton

9 years with the Revolution. Photocredit: Revolution Communications

Knighton was again the backup for the Revolution in the 2020 season. Making one start in the 2020 season against Chicago Fire FC. He made five saves on six attempts in a match that ended in a 1-1 draw in his sole start. Knighton, whenever called upon, has always come up for the Revolution.

2021 will be more of the same for the Revolution goalkeeper. Knighton will be Turner’s backup for the season. Even with the arrival of Earl Edwards Jr., Knighton’s spot is not under strain. He is an excellent solid goalkeeper, and I would expect to see that continue in 2021. I do not worry about this team with him in the net.

Again I expect Turner in net for every game he can be, so if Knighton gets a game or two, I expect them more to be in the US Open Cup, if they make it and if it happens. If he is needed for the league, I trust him to do the business and help guide this team from the back. Knighton is a good goalkeeper who has a career 68.2 percent save percentage with the Revolution, though some of that is due to the team’s dreadful 2019 start to the season (not his fault).

Earl Edwards Jr.

Veteran Backup with kick ass gloves. Photocredit: Revolution Communications

Earl Edwards Jr. was signed on a free transfer after leaving DC United following the 2020 season. While he did not see game time for the side comes the Revolution as a pure depth signing. His last full season of action was in 2019 with Loudoun United where he started 16 games for the club and was teammates with Collin Verfurth and Revs II player Connor Presley.

To be frank, I expect 2021 to be similar for Earl Edward Jr. While he is also coming back from a pre-season knee injury, he is the current third-choice keeper. Bruce Arena did come out and talk about him challenging for the backup spot, but for not, Knighton is fully encamped there. I do not have many expectations other than being a consummate professional, which he is from all accounts.

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