Rowdies Acquire MLS Standout Goalkeeper Matt Pickens

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Wednesday that the club has acquired the rights to accomplished MLS goalkeeper Matt Pickens from Major League’s Soccer’s New England Revolution, and has signed the keeper to a multi-year contract. Per club and league policy, further details of the deal were not released.

Pickens, (6-3, 200), has played 11 professional seasons, including 10 in Major League Soccer. He spent the last five seasons with the Colorado Rapids, where he made 116 appearances for the club, including a 2-1 MLS Cup victory over FC Dallas in 2010. Pickens holds the Rapids’ franchise records in career games in goal (116), shutouts (29), and wins (41). The goalkeeper has had 40 shutouts and a career goals-against average of 1.25.

“We continue to invest in a championship caliber team,” said Bill Edwards, the club’s principal owner and chairman.  “Matt is a proven winner, and I am thrilled that we were able to bring such a high quality player to St. Petersburg.  Rowdies fans will see a new level of professional soccer take the field in 2014.”

“This is a marquee signing that will add a great deal of quality and experience to our squad” added Rowdies general manager Perry Van Der Beck. “Our goal is to win another championship this season, so we’re excited to have a player of Matt’s caliber on our roster.  He brings 11 years of experience, having played over 150 games in MLS.  His size and agility is imposing at his position and I think he will be a great asset for us.”

The Revolution selected Pickens in the Waiver Draft on Friday, March 21, after the Colorado Rapids released him the day before. Pickens also played 40 matches for the MLS Chicago Fire from 2004-2007 and started in net as the Fire won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2006.

Pickens had a brief stint with England’s Queens Park Rangers in 2008 where he played the second half of the 2007-08 season. After the season Pickens returned to Major League Soccer, with Chicago trading his MLS rights to Colorado, where Pickens has been since.