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Matt Turner Expected To Start For USMNT In Thursday Night's World Cup Qualifier

FOXBORO (CBS) -- When the US Men's National team kicks off a three-game stretch of World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday night, Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner will likely be the one in net trying to shut out El Salvador.

With Zack Steffen sidelined with a back injury, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed Wednesday that Turner is expected to start in net for the club's upcoming qualifiers. Tuner started the first five qualifiers of the current "Octagonal" campaign, going 2-2-1 with a pair of clean sheets, with Steffen starting the last three matches.

Turner had 13 caps with the USMNT in 2021, going 10-1-2 with nine shutouts. Those nine clean sheets are the most by a USMNT player in a calendar year, while his baker's dozen of caps set the record for most games played by a USMNT goalkeeper in his debut year.

Turner, the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, is 0-0-1 with a clean sheet in his career against El Savaldor. The 27-year-old has not played a competitive match since Nov. 30, when New England was eliminated from the MLS playoffs by New York City. Turner's last action came on Dec. 18 during the United States' 1-0 exhibition win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The United States is in second place in the eight-team final round of qualifying, one point behind first-place Canada. After 14 games played, the top three teams qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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