LEHI, Utah — Considering all that Nick Rimando has done as a goalkeeper—two MLS Cups, 263 appearances, more than 100 wins—it’s amazing to think he has been named to the MLS All-Star team only once before. The conventional wisdom is that the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper’s size—he stands just 5-foot-9—has been a factor.
“I always say that maybe you have to be 6 feet tall to get some recognition,” Rimando told MLSsoccer.com recently. “It did [bother me] in the beginning. But you’ve just got to play your game.”
Playing his game has gone very well for Rimando this year. In 16 games, he boasts a .81 goals against average, tied for third in the league. He backstopped a recently broken 566-minute shutout streak, the third longest streak in MLS history. He was named MLS Player of the Month for June.
It was fitting, then, that he was picked by All-Star team coach Bruce Arena for the squad that will face Manchester United on July 28.
“Being named is just special, and a complete honor,” he said.
Rimando is just seven wins away from moving into third place on the all-time wins list. The way RSL are playing, that could happen by the end of this season. And with RSL’s success, the proper recognition is starting to come. For Rimando, his place in the annals of the league may be recognition enough.
“Once you see your name up there with Tony Meola and Kevin Hartman—it feels good,” he said. “It shows that you are doing your job.”