Pickens has been the No. 1 DSG Park since 2009, so this is truly a tough blow to a side already beset with debilitating injuries to important, veteran figures.
The Rapids don’t have an experienced backup; rookie Clinton Irwin played his first pro minutes Saturday when Pickens went off in the first half against Real Salt Lake.
Irwin did fine. But it’s one thing to do it as a backup tossed into emergency duty. It’s something quite different to think all week about your place as a starting goalkeeper, and then to deal with the first goal, the first stinker, etc.
Bottom line, the Rapids need a goalkeeper.
Former FC Dallas standout Kevin Hartman is still in Dallas, running his goalkeeping school. His family is there as well.
Hartman, outstanding during his time in Dallas but unable to come to terms on a new deal, was reportedly unable to reach agreement when the NASL’s Cosmos showed interest. But the same money (whatever it was … he made about $185,000 guaranteed last year in Dallas, and the Cosmos were certainly offering much less) would go further in Denver than in New York.
Otherwise, there are clubs around the league with quality backups, but the Rapids’ injury situation would make trades problematic at the moment, because Oscar Pareja’s men are short-handed as it is.