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Game Day with Nick Rimando

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Nick Rimando

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RSL Save of the Year

Nick Rimando

  • DOB June 17, 1979
  • Age 35
  • Place of birth Montclair, California
  • POSITION Goalkeeper
  • HEIGHT 5'10"
  • WEIGHT 180
  • U.S. CAPS 14
  • CLUB Real Salt Lake
  • TWITTER @NickRimando (169K followers)
  • Current ASN 100 Rank 22
  • Previous ASN 100 Rank 15
  • ASN QUESTIONNAIRE Read now

If the game goes to penalty kicks, you want Nick Rimando in goal.

Though small (5-foot-10) by goalkeeper standards, the 33-year-old Real Salt Lake goalkeeper has an uncanny ability to stop PKs, evidenced by his back-to-back shootout performances at the end of the 2009 MLS playoffs. Rimando stopped three penalty kicks against Chicago in the Eastern Conference Final and then matched that effort in the MLS Cup Final, stopping three PKs against the Los Angeles Galaxy to get his team the win. Rimando was named MLS Cup MVP after that match—an easy decision for any who saw his sparkling saves.

Rimando played two years at UCLA before signing with MLS’s now-defunct Miami Fusion in 2000. He made an early impact, starting 47 games in his first two seasons in the league. When the Fusion folded in 2001, D.C. United selected Rimando third overall in the allocation draft, and he continued to see steady work as a starting goalkeeper. During a whiplash-inducing stretch in 2006-2007, Rimando lost his starting role to Troy Perkins, was traded to Real Salt Lake, traded to New York Red Bulls, and then traded back to Real Salt Lake.

Now firmly ensconced as the starting keeper at RSL, Rimando has established himself as one of the best netminders in MLS. In 2010 he helped the Utah club set a league record for fewest goals allowed in a single season and logged 14 shutouts across 30 league games.

Rimando made his first appearance for the U.S. national team in 2002 and has six caps to his name, but he has always taken a back seat to the Kasey Kellers and Tim Howards of the world. That said, Jurgen Klinsmann called Rimando into his January 2012 camp and the keeper responded with a spectacular showing in a 1-0 victory over Panama in Panama City. Rimando was also named to the roster for both the U.S.'s “five-game series” team in May 2012 and for the historic August 2012 victory over Mexico in Estadio Azteca, but he did not factor in any of the matches.

For now, it appears that Rimando’s international role is as a backup to Howard. Klinsmann no doubt appreciates having a steady, reliable option on the bench in case of emergency.—JOHN GODFREY

Noteworthy Reads

Interview with Nick Rimando (SoccerJones.com)
Rimando SIgns Contract Extension (OurSportsCentral.com)
AmericanSoccerNow.