FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Matt Pickens, we hardly knew ye.
Just five days after the New England Revolution claimed the former Colorado Rapids goalkeeper through the Waiver Draft – and before he ever reported to Foxborough – Pickens was transferred to the Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) on Wednesday morning. In return, MLS and the Revs received an undisclosed transfer fee.
During an interview with local media this past Saturday, Revolution General Manager Michael Burns spoke highly of Pickens while touting the 31-year-old veteran as a solid addition to the club’s goalkeeping corps. The plan, as it stood, was to bring Pickens into the mix and create one of the league’s most competitive goalkeeping battles along with Bobby Shuttleworth and Brad Knighton.
But when Tampa Bay approached the Revs with a transfer offer later that night, they had to listen.
“This was a case where things changed really quickly and very rapidly from when we claimed him off waivers on Friday, to getting a transfer offer for him 24 hours later from Tampa Bay,” said Burns. “For as much as we value Matt and know he would’ve been a good addition to the team, frankly the offer that was proposed to us and to MLS was too good to turn down.”
New England’s confidence in the duo of Shuttleworth and Knighton made the Pickens transfer possible and helped the club strengthen its financial position in the midst of a search for reinforcements. Burns noted that members of the technical staff will embark on an international scouting trip this week as the Revs look to add another midfielder and another forward to the current group.
And after transferring Pickens, another goalkeeper is also on the shopping list. New England has often stated its desire to carry three goalkeepers in camp for training purposes, and with Luis Soffner on loan to the Rochester Rhinos, there’s room for someone to join Shuttleworth and Knighton in Foxborough.
“We like to have three goalkeepers (in camp). We had three goalkeepers last year,” said Burns, adding that any goalkeeper the Revs add would likely be domestic. “With the loan of Luis to Rochester, we will still look to add another goalkeeper.”