As if it couldn't get anymore confusing than when they acquired him in the first place, the New England Revolution has announced this morning that they've transferred recently-acquired goalkeeper Matt Pickens to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL. In exchange for Pickens, MLS and the Revolution received a transfer fee. Per club and league policy, further details of the deal were not released. The Revs selected Pickens in the Waiver Draft on Friday, March 21, after the Colorado Rapids released him the day before.
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 stayed before New England acquired his rights last week.
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.
And with that, the Revs' roster returns to 27. Two of those spots will be expected to be used on an international striker and an international midfielder, per GM Mike Burns' comments before the Vancouver match. The question now is whether that final spot will be used on a different goalkeeper (Burns also mentioned that there was a plan to bring one in on trial this week) or on trialist and former captain Shalrie Joseph. It should be an interesting couple of weeks in Revs-land.