In what can only be described as a head-scratcher (okay, maybe you can find some other adjectives, I suppose), The New England Revolution have announced this evening that they've claimed goalkeeper Matt Pickens through the Waiver Draft, and he has been added to the team's roster. Per club policy, further contract details were not released.
Pickens, 31, has played 11 professional seasons, including 10 in Major League Soccer. He has spent the last five years in Colorado, where he started all 116 matches he appeared in since 2009. For his career, which also includes a stop in Chicago, Pickens has 156 appearances, including 154 starts. He has a career goals against average of 1.25 and has posted 40 shutouts, while leading his teams to a 57-56-42 combined record.
After beginning his career with the Fire in 2004, Pickens made his first appearance in 2005. With spot starts for two seasons, Pickens assumed the starting goalkeeper role in 2007, when he made 27 starts and posted a 1.15 GAA and 10 shutouts while going 9-8-10 on the season.
Pickens moved to England's Queens Park Rangers in 2008 and played the second half of the 2007-08 season there, but did not return following the end of the campaign. In January 2009, Chicago traded his MLS rights to Colorado, where Pickens has been since.
He holds the Rapids' franchise records in career games in goal (116), shutouts (29), and wins (41). He started two matches in 2013 before suffering a broken arm. He missed the majority of the season and then served as the back-up upon his return. Colorado waived Pickens yesterday, making him available in today's Waiver Draft.
There's no denying that this move is extremely perplexing. The Revolution made it clear that they felt they had two "number ones" coming into the season with Bobby Shuttleworth and Brad Knighton. Then of course there is Luis Soffner, currently on loan with the Rochester Rhinos. Having four keeper on an MLS roster is almost completely unheard of and smart money is that the writing is on the wall for one of those three based on this addition.
That is just pure speculation, of course. The Revs could very well intend to keep all four on roster with Soffner spending the entire season with the Rhinos and the remaining three all duking it out for the starting job between the sticks. However, that scenario seems incredibly unlikely. What seems more likely is that one of Shuttleworth or Knighton would be released or traded within the league is there is any interest from any other teams. Time will tell, I suppose. For now, the goalkeeper battle in New England just got that much more heated.