Three years after arriving at the club, goalkeeper Matt Pickens made his 100th appearances for the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night. His teammates then helped make sure he got to celebrate with a shutout, as the Rowdies took a 3-0 victory against the Harrisburg City Islanders in front of 5,619 fans at Al Lang Stadium. it’s the second club he’s reached this plateu with, having played 116 times for the Colorado Rapids from 2009-2014
“The guys made it easy for me tonight,” said Pickens. “We’re trending in the right direction. We don’t want to count our chickens until they hatch, but we’re doing all the things right. We’re playing really clean games right now and we just have to keep it going and try not to think about it too much.”
Pickens’ feat was commemorated pregame by Ralph’s Mob, whose tifo emblazoned with Pickens’ image and the slogan “Fear the Beard” was raised before the opening kickoff. After the game the 35-year-old – who made more than 150 starts in Major League Soccer before arriving in Tampa Bay – ascended into the stands to celebrate a fourth consecutive home win for the side. READ MORE AT USLsoccer.com
And check out these details on Matt Pickens by Bill Battle at the Missourian, where he reminisces about some of Picken’s exploits while play at St. Francis Borgia in the late 80’s. Like this nugget:
I think many knew there were great things ahead for Pickens in a previous visit to the soccer park. In 1998, he came up huge in stopping a St. Dominic penalty kick in the final 30 seconds of a Class 1A-3A quarterfinal game to send Borgia to its first-ever state tournament.
Some additional homecoming links include the fact that STLFC General Manager Jeremy Alumbaugh was an Assistant Coach at Missouri State (then Southwest Missouri State) during Picken’s first year as a player (2000) where he’s in the Top 5 of career goalkeeper statistics.
Plenty of time to make plans and get out to WWT Soccer Park with beautiful weather and the beautiful game.
— Saint Louis FC (@SaintLouisFC) August 13, 2017