I think that it is quite clear that Matt Pickens is the Most Valuable Player for our Colorado Rapids. If there is any argument about that it was erased on Saturday as he weathered a Real Salt Lake assault to not only get a record breaking 40th career win, but to throw a clean sheet at the same time.
Pickens broke Marcus Hahnemann’s record for career wins; a record that Hahnemann had held since July 4th, 1997. It was also the second record that Pickens has broken this year. In May he broke the clean sheet record previously held by Joe Cannon.
Besides these two record breaking performances it has been a pretty unassuming year for Pickens. With the Rapids struggling as much as they have been, especially on defense, it is fair to assume that there would be a lot of goals scored. And in fact there have been a lot of goals scored, but Pickens’ goals against average (GAA) is 1.39. He has faced 111 shots in just 23 games, giving up 32 goals (one penalty kick) and registering 80 saves.
With all those stats I hope I didn’t bore you but when you look at other seasons, last year for instance, Pickens has faced just 6 less shots so far this season than he did all of last season. He already has more saves than he made all of last season
With 11 games to go this season, Matt Pickens has earned all the accolades that we can give him. Dealing with a struggling defense and a struggling offense (6 of our 8 wins have needed to be clean sheets in order to win) has got to be frustrating to the man the fans have lovingly dubbed "Jesus".
It has been a joy to watch Pickens passion from my seat in the south stands. Being up close to see his incredible saves, his passion for this team, and overall stellar play has been a treat. "Jesus" has been the unsung hero of this team this year, playing his heart out even when it looks like there are players on this team that are not.