New England Soccer Today

Hello & Goodbye: New Addition Pickens Transferred to NASL

Less than a week after he was picked up by the Revolution via waivers, goalkeeper Matt Pickens was transferred to the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) on Tuesday for an undisclosed fee.

Pickens, who collected 154 career starts during his 10-year MLS career, was acquired by the Revolution via the Waiver Draft on Friday after the Colorado Rapids cut ties with its longtime keeper.

The 31-year-old keeper was a starter for Colorado from 2009 to the early part of the 2013, before broken arm sidelined him and allowed former Revolution trialist Clint Irwin to take over between the sticks. During his time in Colorado (2009-2014), Pickens became the standard bearer, setting club goalkeeping records for games (116), wins (41) and clean sheets (29). He also helped Colorado claim its first MLS championship in 2010.

Prior to Tuesday’s transfer, Revolution general manager Michael Burns called the acquisition of Pickens one which the club couldn’t turn down, especially in light of the coaching staff’s inclination to have three keepers – including Bobby Shuttleworth and Brad Knighton – for training.

“We like to carry three goalkeepers here in Foxboro,” Burns said.  “So these will be the three guys that we keep here in Foxboro. Obviously, it will be a very healthy competition for minutes on the field, but we felt like with him being available, he was too good of an opportunity for us to pass. And that’s why we did it.”

Even though the transfer of Pickens leaves only two rostered keepers available for training with Luis Soffner in Rochester, Burns mentioned on Saturday that the club was looking to invite a trialist this week.

“We had a couple of other goalkeepers here in on trial the last couple of weeks,” Burns said. “We’re actually planning on having another goalkeeper in (this) week.”

While the Revolution won’t get to see first-hand what a proven starter of Pickens’ pedigree could bring to the table, Tampa Bay is hoping that their new keeper will bolster a side that finished third in the 2013 Fall Championship of the NASL season.

“This is a marquee signing that will add a great deal of quality and experience to our squad” said Rowdies general manager Perry Van Der Beck in a statement. “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.”

With Pickens now in Tampa Bay, the Revolution roster currently stands at 27.

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