REAL SALT LAKE GOALKEEPER NICK RIMANDO VOTED MLS PLAYER OF THE MONTH FOR JUNE
Veteran Goalkeeper’s Three Straight Clean Sheets Gives an RSL Player the League-wide Honor for Second Consecutive Month
NEW YORK/SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 30, 2010) – Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando did not give up a single goal in the month of June and was recognized on Wednesday as the MLS Player of the Month, as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).
The naming of Rimando marks the second consecutive month that a Real Salt Lake player has captured the honor after FW Álvaro Saborío won the May award. This is only the fifth occasion in MLS’ 15-year history in which a club has had back-to-back recipients of the Player of the Month honor, and the first time since New York Red Bulls forward Juan Pablo Angel garnered the award in both May and June of 2007.
“I’m very proud to receive this honor, one that really reflects the work the team has been putting in lately,” said Rimando. “Our coaches continually stress the importance of us keeping clean sheets, so this award is a testament to the entire defense in front of me – and to all the players working on that side of the ball. With myself and Álvaro earning these honors right after each other, I think it shows that we’re doing something right over here at Real Salt Lake.”
The defending MLS Cup champions played three June matches against D.C. United, the LA Galaxy, and the San Jose Earthquakes; but they could not find their way past Rimando, whose play was crucial in helping RSL push its club-record overall undefeated and home undefeated streaks in League play to eight games (6-0-2) and 17 games (11-0-6), respectively. Rimando was credited with single-handedly salvaging a point against the San Jose Earthquakes last Friday after his season-high eight saves preserved a 0-0 tie – including an 84th minute stop on Cornell Glen that is currently up for the NAPA Save of the Week award.
“At the end of the game, I’m patting Nick Rimando on the back and saying, ‘You just saved us two points and saved us from giving San Jose all three of them,’” said RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis following the contest.
Rimando’s current shutout streak stands at 318 minutes, and should he keep New England off the scoresheet this Friday for the game’s first 38 minutes, the resulting 356-minute run without allowing a goal would set a new mark for the longest shutout streak in club history. Rimando is currently sitting on 99 career wins and will look to become only the fifth player in MLS history to hit the century mark in victories against the Revs.
The 31-year-old California native has become only the second MLS goalkeeper to win the Player of the Month award twice. He’s in good company, as current English Premier League netminder Brad Friedel earned the honors in 1996 and 1997. It is a rare enough occurrence for a goalkeeper to win the award: of the 93 Player of the Month awards, only 12 ‘keepers have earned the nod from the media.
Rimando, who owns every significant goalkeeping records in Real Salt Lake annals, is RSL’s all-time leader in minutes played (8,585) and is the only player for the Utah side to feature in every single one of the 1170 regular-season minutes in 2010.
The Major League Soccer Player of the Month is selected following the last regular season game of each month by a panel of journalists from the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR). The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media. More information and membership guidelines can be found at http://www.soccerreporters.com/.
2010 MLS Player of the Month Winners
April: Edson Buddle (LA Galaxy)
May: Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake)
June: Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
All-time Real Salt Lake MLS Player of the Month Recipients
August 2006: Jeff Cunningham
July 2008: Nick Rimando
May 2010: Álvaro Saborío
June 2010: Nick Rimando