Monday, May 23, 2022

Did Matt Turner get frostbite in Minnesota for USA? Bruce Arena, Turner, US Soccer all comment on goalkeeper’s injury

What started as an internet rumor has turned into full-blown speculation as Bruce Arena, US Soccer and Matt Turner all painted contradicting stories of what happened in the frigid temperatures of Minnesota.

One of the lasting images from the US’s 3-0 win against Honduras was goalkeeper Matt Turner in full-body cold gear, standing at the ready, as the United States pummeled the Honduras half of the field.

Turner, with little to do as the US attack surged throughout the match, was frozen solid — literally and figuratively — stuck in the net without much movement required of the US goalkeeper.

Since that day, Turner has cropped up with a foot injury that has kept him out the last month, sidelined not only the entire open to the club season for the New England Revolution, but also out for the final three USMNT World Cup qualifiers at the end of March.

What was initially supposed to be “a couple of weeks” out, according to his club coach Arena in early March has ended up being a much longer issue.

Turner, Arena, and US Soccer have all weighed in on what happened in the Minnesota cold, and all three have different stories.

MORE: Can USA get out of Group B and reach 2022 World Cup knockout stage?

What did Matt Turner say about his foot injury?

Turner gave an interview to Dan Roche of CBS Boston on April 2, and in it, he suggested that not only did he suffer frostbite, but it exacerbated an already existing injury and caused him to miss more time.

“After the game in Minnesota against Honduras, I developed a bit of tendinitis in my foot,” Turner said. “It was because the tissue in my foot was frozen and I was running back and forth to stay warm. All the running on frozen tissue sort of expedited the process of tendinitis, but that was only like three or four days I was sidelined when I met up with the Revs out in LA and so I wasn’t training.”

Turner then went on to say that he suffered another injury to his foot in a closed-door friendly against LAFC in Major League Soccer preseason.

“A few minutes into the game a back-pass was left short,” Turner said. “I came to clear it and someone left their foot in. I cleared the ball and kicked the bottom of their foot and got the hairline fracture in a small bone in my foot.”

Ultimately, due to his initial comments about the frostbite affecting his tendonitis, Turner was forced to clarify a day later on social media.

“The USMNT game in Minnesota has NOTHING to do with what’s kept me off the field these last few weeks,” Turner said. The post explains that the tendonitis in his left foot is fully healed, while the preseason challenge resulted in a hairline fracture in his other foot — the right.

The future Arsenal man says his “words have been pulled around to fit certain narratives,” leading to his clarification.

“My rehab is going very well,” Turner said. “I’m hopeful I will get cleared to return to training again very soon and I can put this chapter behind me.”

MORE: Who will have better World Cup? USA, Mexico, or Canada?

What did Bruce Arena say about Turner’s injury?

Bruce Arena began things by indicating Turner’s timeline was “a couple more weeks” on March 8.

Then, when Turner was left out of the US Soccer squad for the March international break, Arena came back and indicated that the goalkeeper suffered frostbite in the game against Minnesota, which exacerbated his foot injury.

Arena echoed Turner’s statements, but the coach lashed out at US Soccer for scheduling the cold weather game:

Well, personally I told them in advance, I thought it was stupid to be playing teams of that quality, thinking that they have to be in those kinds of conditions. Having said that, we’ve been playing in a mess in previous games here. But US Soccer, I personally felt, could’ve played in any venue in the country and would’ve succeeded in those games. So, Matt’s injury that he has now is not a result of the injury he suffered in the game in Minnesota.

The injury he has now has nothing to do with the frostbite he suffered in Minnesota. There was no confusion. The frostbite was on one foot. The injury he has now is on the other foot. So, you can’t — there’s no connection to it.

Having said that, Canada is not playing around with venues, but Canada’s playing games in Canada. What are they going to do in February? Where are they going to go? The only place they could probably go to that’s a little bit more suitable in terms of climate, is probably Vancouver, indoors on a turf field in a dome. But that’s now been part of the game in CONCACAF. And it probably always has been. When I coached the national team, there was always little gimmicks that countries played to try and get an edge.

MORE: English media believes World Cup matchup with US Soccer is a friendly matchup for Three Lions

What did US Soccer say about Turner’s injury?

US Soccer has attempted to deny that Turner ever got frostbite during the February match in Minnesota.

A report by Sam Minton of SB Nation Revolution-specific site The Bent Musket says that US Soccer has denied that Turner was affected medically by the cold weather.

That statement seems carefully worded, as it clarifies that US Soccer did not diagnose Turner with frostbite, but does not actually deny that Turner ever did suffer from frostbite — simply that US Soccer trainers did not diagnose it.

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