Rapids' Pickens earns first 2012 Save of the Week award

It's been a tough season for Matt Pickens and the Colorado Rapids, but the bearded netminder finally has reason to celebrate, despite conceding the fourth most goals in MLS to date.

Pickens won his first Save of the Week award of the 2012 campaign, with fans electing his kick save against the Portland Timbers last Friday as the best of Week 26.

In the 44th minute at JELD-WEN Field, he foiled Portland's Franck Songo'o, who sent a first-time shot that was deflected on its way to goal. PIckens reacted to the redirection and made sure to get his legs to the ball in spectacular fashion.

But only one minute later, the Timbers would finally get their breakthrough with Bright Dike scoring the game-winner. However, the Rapids and Pickens got their revenge with a 3-0 blanking of the Timbers on Wednesday in Colorado.

Pickens beat out a stunning stop by Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy who went against the grain to parry a Simon Dawkins shot. Montreal's Troy Perkins also earned a shout for blocking a screamer from the Columbus Crew's Nemanja Vukovic. Chicago's Sean Johnson and New York's Bill Gaudette rounded out the Top 5.

For complete coverage of the Save of the Week - and an archive of past winners -- click here.

Final Voting Results

1. Matt Pickens (COL) – 33.33%

2. Dan Kennedy (CHV) – 25.73%

3. Troy Perkins (MTL) – 20.11%

4. Sean Johnson (CHI) – 17.64%

5. Bill Gaudette (NY) – 3.19%