The Tampa Bay Rowdies made a major roster move today, adding veteran goalkeeper Matt Pickens to their roster. The 31-year old has spent the past five seasons with the Colorado Rapids, before being released in 2014. His route to Tampa was a bit of an odd one, as the New England Revolution claimed him on waivers before agreeing to a transfer fee with the Rowdies.
BREAKING: Rowdies Acquire @MLS Standout Goalkeeper Matt Pickens ---> http://t.co/E97z7AGU9o pic.twitter.com/Oo9S38svUr— Tampa Bay Rowdies (@RowdiesSoccer) March 26, 2014
Pickens began his professional career with the Chicago Fire, and made 40 appearances there before trying his luck in England. After trials at Norwich City and Preston North End, he wound up finding a home with Queens Park Rangers. He didn't make a single first team appearance during his time in London though, nor did he catch on during trials with several other English clubs before eventually returning to the US to join the Rapids in 2009. He made 116 appearances in that 5-year run with the club, including the 2-1 MLS Cup victory over FC Dallas in 2010.
Pickens should be an excellent addition to the Rowdies roster, and will certainly be their first choice at the position for the 2014 season. There's little doubt he'd still be a first choice player at more than a handful of MLS clubs, and is a great pickup for a NASL side.