With an eye to retaining the defensive group that broke a slew of league and franchise records last season, Real Salt Lake have reached a verbal agreement to extend the contract for goalkeeper Nick Rimando.
The veteran netminder had a stellar 2010 season, helping the team set a new league mark for fewest goals conceded (20). Rimando also recorded a career-best 14 shutouts.
The move is the fourth deal this offseason involving a player from the 2010 roster. Alvaro Saborio, Will Johnson and Paulo Junior will all return in 2011.The club has also indicated it's in the process of working on a deal to keep MLS Best XI defender Nat Borchers.
Although the team has not released specific terms, Rimando's deal is expected to extend through the 2013 season.
Rimando first joined the team in 2006 as a part of a trade with D.C. United that also involved the acquisition of Freddy Adu. While Adu initially grabbed the headlines, Rimando has proven to be an invaluable piece of the current squad, starting at least 26 games each his four seasons with the club and amassing 41 total shutouts, including the postseason.
Rimando was vital in helping RSL win an MLS Cup in 2009 by making some key stops in the penalty stages of the finale against the LA Galaxy, and earned his second MLS title after he won his first with D.C. United in 2004.