The NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies announced they have acquired the rights to goalkeeper Matt Pickens from the New England Revolution, and have signed the goalkeeper to a multi-year contract.
Pickens has played 11 professional seasons, including 10 in MLS. 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 after the 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 U.S. Open Cup in 2006.
Pickens had a brief stint with England's Queens Park Rangers in 2008 when he played the second half of the 2007-08 season. After the season, Pickens returned to the United States, with Chicago trading his MLS rights to Colorado.
COSMOS ADD GK KYLE ZOBECK
The NASL's New York Cosmos announced that goalkeeper Kyle Zobeck has signed a contract with the team.
"We are pleased to bring Kyle into the squad," Cosmos coach Giovanni Savarese said. "He is a talented prospect that will provide competition and strengthen our depth at goalkeeper."
Zobeck, 24, trialed with the club during its preseason trip to Dubai and most recently played for FC Dallas.
"I'm very grateful for this opportunity and I'm looking forward to making an impact with the team," Zobeck said. "This is a club with so much history, especially coming off a championship in 2013, and I am excited to be a part of it."
The Coralville, Iowa, native played Division 1 soccer at Valparaiso University and was named the Horizon League Goalkeeper of the Year in his junior season. He was selected in the second round (26th overall) of the 2013 MLS supplemental draft by Dallas following his senior season.