TAMPA, Fla. – Nashville SC’s Matt Pickens may have just completed his 16th professional season, but he shows no signs of slowing down.
The 37-year-old was named the USL Championship’s 2019 Goalkeeper of the Year on Tuesday after a remarkable season that saw him star for the side with the best defensive record in the league. Pickens adds the honor to the previously awarded Championship Golden Glove, claimed last month after he posted a 0.64 goals-against average in 25 regular-season appearances for the club.
Pickens posted a save percentage of 79.8 percent during the regular season, the highest among goalkeepers to have recorded at least 40 saves, while his 14 shutouts also led the league in the regular season. His shutout total saw him surpass 100 for his career, a landmark figure for the veteran shot-stopper.
After being nominated as a finalist for the Championship’s Goalkeeper of the Year honor a season ago, Pickens maintained his upper-echelon standard as NSC finished second in the Championship’s Eastern Conference.
Pickens earned 54 percent of the ballot to claim the award, while Phoenix Rising FC’s Zac Lubin finished second on 24 percent and Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC’s Kyle Morton took third on 21 percent.
The 2019 USL Championship Awards were voted on by team management and a league-wide media panel that included representation from every USL Championship market. Voting was conducted following the conclusion of the 2019 Championship regular season.
Goalkeeper of the Year: Matt Pickens, Nashville SC
Defender of the Year: Announced November 19
Coach of the Year: Announced November 20
Young Player of the Year: Announced November 20
Most Valuable Player: Announced November 21
2011: Miguel Gallardo, Orlando City SC
2012: Kristian Nicht, Rochester Rhinos
2013: Andrew Dykstra, Richmond Kickers
2014: John McCarthy, Rochester Rhinos
2015: Brandon Miller, Rochester Rhinos
2016: Mitch Hildebrandt, FC Cincinnati
2017: Diego Restrepo, San Antonio FC
2018: Maxime Crepeau, Ottawa Fury FC