A new season-long blog with GK Matt Pyzdrowski

Entering his first pro season in 2010, goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski will share his rookie experiences and thoughts throughout the season in a season-long blog, called "The Clean Sheet." Get to know Matt in his first installment.

Hello Timbers Army and fans!

I wanted to take a second to introduce myself. My name is Matt Pyzdrowski and I am your Portland Timbers rookie goalkeeper. I am 23 years old and am a recent graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. While I was at Marquette, I played four strong years of Big East Conference soccer in between the posts for the Golden Eagles. I grew up in the Chicagoland area and have always had the dream of becoming a professional athlete.
Signing with the Timbers is a dream come true. Honestly, getting paid to do this is crazy because it's not work at all for me; it's the love and joy of the game that drives me every single day. All the years of hard work has paid off, but at the same time it has only begun. Now that I have accomplished my dream it's my goal to exceed that dream and literally reach for the stars...the sky is the limit. This is a great situation to be in with two well-respected and experienced keepers in Steve Cronin and Adin Brown. I will learn so much from them and they are only going to make me a better goalkeeper every single day.
Preseason has been a great experience. I had been in camp with two professional teams in the past so I knew what to expect with the level of play but it is certainly different when you are an official member of the team. To be involved with the other members of the team on an everyday basis in everything we do is something special. We have been grinding it out every single day in preparation for the upcoming season. It has been a mix of fitness, scrimmages, technical work and small-sided games that have taken up our daily routines.
Last Thursday, I got to suit up against my first MLS side in the Seattle Sounders. As I’m sure all of you diehard fans know by now we had a great result with a 1-0 victory at Qwest Field. It was a great atmosphere and we had a great group of Timbers supporters make the trip. This is an amazing rivalry with tons of passion and it was great to be a part of. Even though I didn’t get the call it was a surreal experience to be involved in the game. My heart was pumping out of my chest from my first step on the pitch. It was a great experience to be across from one of the greatest, if not the greatest U.S. goalkeeper of all-time in Kasey Keller. It makes it even more special that we got the result. I’m sure I will have other moments like this that will come over and over throughout my career but I couldn’t think of a better first game to suit up for.
I am so excited for what is yet to come and will cherish everyday if it was my last. I am lucky enough to be able to say I am living out my dream every single day and that is what drives me and my success. Harriet Tubman once told us, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Always have dreams and follow those dreams every single day. You never know what you can accomplish in life if you put your mind and heart to it. Here is to the beginning of a great season…Go Timbers!
- Matt Pyzdrowski