Matt Turner will guard the net for the USMNT vs. Trinidad & Tobago. (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports)
One thing is certain for the U.S. men’s national team in its international friendly against Trinidad & Tobago Sunday. Goalkeeper Matt Turner will become 35th player to earn his first cap under head coach Gregg Berhalter in the contest at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla. ( FS1, UniMas and TUDN) at 7 p.m. ET.
Berhalter made the announcement during a Saturday conference call with the media.
Turner recently completed an outstanding season with the New England Revolution.
Matt Freese and JT Marcinkowski are the other goalkeepers in camp and they are seeking their first cap.
“I’m excited for him because this is a classic example of a guy just earning it,” Berhalter said. “He earned it by great play on the field last year and then having a really strong camp. We’re really supportive of Matt and hoping I’ll have a great game tomorrow. The important thing for Matt is to play his game. He’s gotten this far by being himself and I’m sure he’ll do it again tomorrow.”
As it turns out, Berhalter has given more opportunities to new players than any other modern era USMNT head coach at this point in their tenure. To this point, 34 players have made their international debut during his first 22 matches at the helm of the program.
Seven other players have the opportunity to earn their first caps: George Bello, Daryl Dike, Aaron Herrera, Benji Michel, Andres Perea, Mauricio Pineda and Tanner Tessmann.
January camp friendlies also have provided plenty of opportunities for USMNT players in the past.
Six players on the current roster made their USA debut at the close of a January training camp: Kellyn Acosta (Jan. 31, 2016 vs. Iceland), Jesús Ferreira (Feb. 1, 2020 vs. Costa Rica), Jonathan Lewis (Jan. 27, 2019 vs. Panama), Sebastian Lletget (Jan. 29, 2017 vs. Serbia), Sam Vines (Feb. 1, 2020 vs. Costa Rica) and Walker Zimmerman (Feb. 3, 2017 vs. Jamaica).
Head Coach Debuts Through 22 Matches Years Gregg Berhalter 34 2019-2020 Bob Bradley 25 2007-2008 Dave Sarachan* 23 2017-2018 Bruce Arena 18 1998-2000 Bora Milutinovic 17 1991-1992 Steve Sampson 5 1995-1996 *Dave Sarachan managed 12 matches as USMNT head coach