COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – On a night when the Colorado Rapids snapped a franchise-tying six game losing streak, goalkeeper Matt Pickens snapped another, more positive franchise-tying record: most career wins for a Rapids goalkeeper.
In their 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on Saturday, Pickens notched his 40th win in a Colorado uniform, breaking Marcus Hahnemann’s old franchise mark of 39 established in 1999. But as is typical of the ultra-competitive Pickens, the three points collected Saturday mattered far more to him than the individual feat.
“It’s a team thing and it goes out to the guys that have been here since I’ve been here, and the guys that used to be here as well,” Pickens said of his accomplishment on Saturday. “It’s a great night to get it against Salt Lake and turn the streak around.”
WATCH: Pickens keeps it scoreless
In addition to the career wins mark, Pickens also holds the Rapids record for most career shutouts, after having recorded his 28th on Saturday.
This has arguably been the best season of Pickens’ eight-year MLS career. The 30-year-old leads MLS with 80 saves and has started all 23 regular-season contests while also stepping up as a vocal leader from the backline in the absence of regular captain Pablo Mastroeni. As a reward, Pickens signed a multi-year contract extension two weeks ago, and teammates are looking forward to having their record-setting keeper around for several years to come.
“Pickens has been huge this season," defender Drew Moor said. "I think he’s probably had one of the best seasons of his career for sure, which is almost unfair to say because defensively, we haven’t been as good in front of him for the last two or three years. In the locker room, the influence that he’s leaving on this team has been unbelievable. He’s really stepped up vocally.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.