Matt Watson (footballer)

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For the Scottish football player of the 1960s, see Matt Watson (footballer, born 1936).
Matt Watson
Personal information
Full name Matthew Watson
Date of birth (1985-01-01) 1 January 1985 (age 32)
Place of birth Redditch, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Phoenix Rising
Number 8
Youth career
2004–2005 UMBC Retrievers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Richmond Kickers 41 (10)
2008–2011 Carolina RailHawks 107 (8)
2012–2013 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 36 (0)
2014–2015 Chicago Fire 40 (1)
2016 Carolina RailHawks 29 (3)
2017– Phoenix Rising 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of December 6, 2016.

Matthew Watson (born 1 January 1985) is an English footballer currently playing for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League.



Watson grew up in England, but chose to attend the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the United States. He played two seasons for the UMBC Retrievers in 2004 and 2005. Following the 2005 season, Watson chose to forgo his final two seasons of collegiate eligibility to turn professional.[1]


In 2006, Watson signed with Richmond Kickers of the USL Second Division. That season, he played in all twenty-four Kickers games as the team took both the regular season and playoff titles. In 2007, Watson and his teammates again took the regular season title but lost in the final of the USL-2 Championship to Harrisburg City Islanders. Watson was named a USL-2 first team All Star.[2] In April 2006, Baltimore Blast of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) selected Watson with the third pick in the MISL Draft.

During the 2006–2007 season, Watson scored ten goals in twenty-nine games as the Blast failed to qualify for the playoffs. In his second season, he broke his toe, putting him out for much of the season. However, he did win his second professional championship as the Blast won the 2007–2008 title. While playing for the Blast, teammate Jonny Steele, a member of the 2007 Carolina RailHawks convinced him to join the RailHawks. On 12 December 2007, the RailHawks signed Watson for the 2008 USL First Division season.

Watson rejoined Baltimore for the 2010–11 indoor season, scoring 14 points in 18 regular season games.[3] He went scoreless in the championship game which the Blast lost. In 2011 he returned to Carolina RailHawks and helped the club to the NASL regular-season title.

Watson signed for Vancouver Whitecaps FC on 16 December 2011, reuniting with former RailHawks manager Martin Rennie.[4] He was a starter at the beginning of the season before he suffered a leg injury.

On 5 March 2014, Watson was traded to Chicago Fire in exchange for an international roster slot.[5]

After two seasons in Chicago, on 15 January 2016 Watson signed for a second stint with Carolina RailHawks.[6]

Watson signed with United Soccer League side Phoenix Rising on 4 March 2017.[7]


Watson earned his US green card in 2012.[8] This status also qualifies him as a domestic player for MLS roster purposes.


  1. ^ "Matt Watson Leaves Men's Soccer Program to Pursue Professional Soccer Career". Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "USL-2 All-League Teams announced". 16 August 2007. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "Blast 2010–11 player statistics". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Watson reunites with Rennie". 1 January 1985. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Chicago Fire Soccer Club Acquires Matt Watson from Vancouver Whitecaps FC". 5 March 2014. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Matt Watson obtains United States green card | Vancouver Whitecaps FC". 1 March 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2014. 

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