Carson Pickett joined the Pride in January of 2018 as part of a deal that sent Steph Catley to the Reign, in exchange for her and Christine Nairn. Since then, she has rarely been challenged for the position of left back and has accumulated the second-most playing time in 2019. Let’s take a deeper look at her second season and see how she did on defense.
Pickett finished 2019 with 20 appearances, 19 of those being starts. She totaled 1,688 minutes played, behind only Rachel Hill, who tallied 1,850. Carson came close several times to getting her first goal in purple, but never found the net. She did record her first assist for the Pride on a sharp corner kick that found Toni Pressley in the May 11 match against the Portland Thorns.
Pickett’s distribution was pretty solid, with 56% of her passes being forward passes and a total completion rate of 69.1%. She was active all over the field, attempting 745 total passes for a pass nearly every two minutes played. However, she only tallied 30 open play crosses, which is significantly lower when compared to players around the league.
She did rack up 41 clearances, five blocks, 34 interceptions, and was fouled eight times. She conceded just 13 fouls herself and picked up two yellow cards.
For me, Pickett’s best game was a 1-0 loss to Utah Royals FC on April 27. She put in several dangerous balls from the corner, with one finding Alanna Kennedy and requiring a bit of creativity for Nicole Barnhart to come up with the save. She was up and down the side of the pitch, and had some integral defensive moments that kept the game from getting out of hand. Later in the game, she almost tied it up in the 74th minute with a low ball that cut through traffic, but was just a few inches away from either the goal or a pouncing Alanna Kennedy.
2019 Final Grade
Carson got a unanimous 5 from The Mane Land staff. She was one of the more consistent performers throughout the year, especially in the first third of the season. However, there were periods where the Pride lacked threat when it came to distribution from the left side and she is more than capable of providing that threat if she just crept forward a bit more.
Unless the front office brings in another contender, there isn’t much that’ll keep Carson from seeing consistent minutes again next year. She’s already ranked 13th all-time in minutes played for the Pride, and that’s with just two seasons played.
The last two years, she’s also gone over to Australia to play for the Brisbane Roar. So it’ll be interesting to see if she plans to do something similar again or if she will just take a break until next year.