SANDY, UT – Real Salt Lake GK Nick Rimando has been named MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for Week Seven of the 2014 MLS season.
Rimando had an incredible performance in the Claret-and-Cobalt’s 1-0 win over Portland Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. The RSL veteran made a total of three save, two in the last five minutes of the match, to keep the Claret-and-Cobalt undefeated in 2014.
Rimando – who missed RSL’s last two games due to a knee injury picked up while playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team in its 2-2 draw with Mexico on April 2 – now has 111 career regular season shutouts, just one shy of tying retired GK Kevin Hartman for the all-time MLS record.
The veteran ‘keeper’s first big save came in the 19th minute, when Portland FW Darlington Nagbe picked up the ball in the RSL third and slalomed into the area before firing a shot on goal from the top of the six-yard box. Rimando held his ground at the left post and reacted quickly to punch Nagbe’s effort over the bar.
The next test came in the 85th minute, when Rimando made a point-blank stop on Portland DF Alvas Powell to keep RSL ahead. Timbers MF Gaston Fernandez sprung Powell in the right side of the area, hitting the Jamaican international in stride just eight yards from goal. Powell put a shot on target with his first touch and Rimando stoned him, making a kick save to preserve RSL’s lead.
Rimando again preserved the three points with another great stop in the 88th minute. Fernandez pounced on a loose ball in the RSL third, taking a touch toward goal and curling a 20-yard left-footer toward the upper left corner. The ball looked ticketed for the back of the net, but Rimando – as he so often does – had other ideas, acrobatically leaping to his right to push the ball around the bar and out for a corner.
This is Rimando’s third MLS Player of the Week honor and his second of 2014. The California native has notched three MLS Player of the Month awards, 23 MLS Save of the Week honors and won MLS Save of the Year in 2012 and 2013. This is the 23rd time in RSL history that a Claret-and-Cobalt player has been named Player of the Week.
The MLS Player of the Week award is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership information can be found at www.soccerreporters.com.
RSL will return to action this Saturday, when it will host Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets to Saturday’s expected sell-out can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.