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Keller issues verdict on Matt Turner's display in USMNT draw with Wales
Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Keller issues verdict on Matt Turner's display in USMNT draw with Wales

Kasey Keller has told ESPN FC that Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner was decent for the USMNT in their World Cup opener, but suggested that he will need to improve when Gregg Berhalter’s side face England.

The US will be frustrated after their opening game of the tournament. They were superb in the first-half against Wales. And they got their reward with Timothy Weah breaking the deadlock after some good work from Christian Pulisic.

Photo by Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

However, the game turned around after the break. Wales were the much better side. And they were able to equalise when Gareth Bale was fouled inside the penalty area. Bale managed to smash the ball past Turner to ensure that the points were shared.

Matt Turner could improve

Turner did well to get anything on Bale’s penalty. And he made a very smart save from Ben Davies during the second-half. However, it was not a flawless performance from the goalkeeper.

Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Keller felt that the Gunners man looked more vulnerable when the ball was played in from out wide. Keiffer Moore had a golden opportunity to head home at one stage, with Turner getting nowhere near the ball.

And Keller believes that those moments will not have gone unnoticed by England, who lie ahead for the US later this week.

“I think for the most part, it was solid,” he told ESPN FC. “Obviously a couple of crosses there, Keiffer Moore had a dunk that he missed over the bar which was very similar to Holland’s goal against Senegal where he got caught by indecision and then the big man got in front of him.

“He got fortunate that it was flicked over the crossbar. I think that’s going to be something that England’s going to be looking at and they’re going to be saying: ‘let’s put a lot of crosses on top of this guy’.

“Matt, I know, great shot-stopper, I liked the way he read the ball. I would have liked to have seen him head that ball a little bit wider and not force Kellyn Acosta to take a yellow card in the hope for Wales that Gareth Bale could hit the midfield bomb. But I think it was decent, but he could improve.”

Arsenal goalkeeper needs big performance against England

Keller suggested that the quality of crosses is one of the big differences between MLS and the Premier League. So it would seem that Turner is still adapting to that aspect of the game.

It is going to be a massive fixture for the US on Friday. The group is wide open after their draw with Wales. But it would appear that Iran may not be the team some were expecting as they were thrashed by England.

Wales having the chance to play Iran first could be crucial. Rob Page’s men will also have absolutely no problem motivating themselves for their final group game against England.

If the US can pick up a positive result on Friday, it would be huge for them.

But it definitely does appear that Turner is going to have to produce something special for that to happen.

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