SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando won on Tuesday the Pro Male Athlete of the Year and Highlight of the Year awards at the 2013 Governor’s State of Sport Awards.
Rimando beat out 2013 NFL Super Bowl winners Haloti Ngata and Paul Kruger, 2012 NHL Stanley Cup winner Trevor Lewis, PGA Tour pro Daniel Summerhays and PRCA Rodeo champion Jesse Wright to win the Pro Male Athlete award. Rimando was the only nominee who plays for a Utah team; the other five nominees play elsewhere but are all originally from Utah.
Rimando won the Highlight of the Year award for his outstanding performance in the first-leg of the 2012 Western Conference Semifinals at Seattle Sounders FC. Rimando made several world-class saves despite suffering a broken nose in the second-half of that match, a scoreless draw at Seattle on Nov. 2 of last year.
“I’d like to thank Real Salt Lake, first and foremost, as well as all the fans of RSL, and most importantly, my family, especially my wife Jacqui for her support throughout my career,” Rimando said. “It’s an incredible honor to be recognized today and included in categories full of such accomplished professional athletes and amazing highlights. I’m honored to call Utah home, and I want everyone to know that this would never be possible without my teammates.”
The 33-year-old Rimando is off to a fantastic start in the 2013 season, allowing just five goals in six starts and registering the best save percentage in MLS amongst goalkeepers who have played at least three games. The Montclair, Calif. native was a part of the U.S. squad that beat Costa Rica and tied at Mexico in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying matches last month and figures to play a role for the USMNT through the remainder of the final round of qualifying and possibly in this summer’s 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
There were nine total categories in the 2013 Governor’s State Sports Awards. The nine winners of the second-annual awards were decided by an online fan vote.
The winners of the 2013 Governor’s State Sports Awards were announced on Tuesday at the Governor’s State of Sport Awards Luncheon at the Zions Bank Basketball Center. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert presented the awards and tennis legend Andre Agassi delivered a keynote speech at the luncheon.
Rimando and his Real Salt Lake teammates will return to MLS action on Saturday, when the Claret-and-Cobalt will host Western Conference upstart Chivas USA at Rio Tinto Stadium. A limited amount of tickets to Saturday’s 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff are still available and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
RSL will host USL Pro side Phoenix FC in a MLS Reserve League match at Rio Tinto Stadium next Monday, April 22. Tickets to the game cost $8 for RSL Pride Season Ticket Holders and $12 for the general public and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at http://www.riotintostadium.com/events/rsl-v-phoenixfc.php or over the phone at 801-727-2700.