Matt Pickens in 2011 with the Colorado Rapids
|Full name||Matthew Pickens|
|Date of birth||April 5, 1982|
|Place of birth||Washington, Missouri, United States|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Current club||Colorado Rapids|
|2000–2003||Missouri State Bears|
|2002–2003||Chicago Fire Premier|
|2004||→ Virginia Beach Mariners (loan)||3||(0)|
|2008||Queens Park Rangers||0||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of December 11, 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Youth and Amateur
Pickens initially attended Meramec Community College before playing college soccer for Missouri State University from 2000 to 2003. He also played for Chicago Fire Premier in the USL Premier Development League.
Upon graduating, Pickens was drafted 19th overall in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft by the Fire. He was not able, however, to break through a deep lineup of Fire goalkeepers, which initially included Henry Ring and D.J. Countess, and later Zach Thornton. He was loaned out for much of the year to the A-League Virginia Beach Mariners, where he played 290 minutes, conceding only 3 goals.
During the latter half of 2006, after an injury to Zach Thornton, Pickens started in goal for the Fire even though Thornton is match fit again. This also includes his first play-off start on October 22, 2006 for the Fire, keeping a clean sheet in a game that the Fire won, 1-0 thanks to a goal from Justin Mapp in the 35th minute. Zach Thornton was traded to the Colorado Rapids on March 2, 2007; Pickens has been the Chicago Fire's first choice goalkeeper for the 2007 season.
On 17 January 2008 it was announced that Pickens was on trial at English Championship side Norwich City. However, Norwich were unable to offer him a first-team place. Interest from other British clubs continued with a short spell training at Preston North End.
On 7 February 2008, Pickens signed a deal with QPR until the end of the 2008 season. On 6 May 2008, it was announced that Pickens would not have his contact extended and that he will be released by the club at the end of June.
Pickens trialled with numerous clubs in England and Scotland after his release, including Hibernian, Doncaster Rovers, Falkirk and Nottingham Forest, the latter of which he claims he was close to signing with. However, despite not securing a new contract in Europe, Chicago Fire traded Pickens rights to Colorado Rapids on January 15, 2009 and was signed by the club shortly after.
As of December 2010, Pickens has been called up to five United States training camps, including the upcoming camp in January 2011. However, he has never earned a national cap or been part of the final 18-man roster.
- Keeper Pickens seals move to QPR BBC Sport. Accessed 13 February 2008