Through the month of December, Burgundy Wave will do a short review of every player who received even a paltry sum of minutes in 2012. We start with the goalkeepers and then move our way up to the forwards. Today, we'll cover Matt Pickens.
Name: Matt Pickens
Stats: 107 saves
What a wasted season for Matt Pickens. The man was an absolute beast between the sticks in 2012, his best season to date for the Rapids by a long shot. Remember the miracle saves he was making in the 2010 MLS Cup final against Dallas? Well, he took that sort of a game and made an entire season out of it.
Even with the brilliance he was displaying, there wasn't much he could do about his defense crumbling down around him the entire year. Set piece defense was a mess, which led to numerous goals. One-on-ones were frequent for players like Thierry Henry and Chris Wondolowski, and not even the best keepers in MLS are going to be able to do much about it when guys with that level of talent are coming at them.
We just have to hope that the guy keeps his form up next season -- if the defense improves even to a mediocre level, 2012 Pickens could carry them to the playoffs. (Fortunately, the replacing of Luis Zapata with Anthony Wallace should handle quite a bit of that transition.) He really was the team's MVP in a year that was full of LVP performances by just about everyone else.
PLAYER RATING: 8
.GIF TO SUM UP HIS SEASON:
The dog, of course, is the defense.