REAL SALT LAKE GOALKEEPER NICK RIMANDO SIGNS CONTRACT EXTENSION THROUGH 2013
11-Year MLS Veteran Will Continue to Climb MLS Record Books in Claret-and-Cobalt;
Rimando Available for Comment Following RSL’s 10:30 a.m. Training Session at U of U’s Spence Eccles Field House
SANDY, Utah (Friday, February 4, 2011) – Real Salt Lake today continued its offseason theme of shoring up the core of its squad, with General Manager/V.P. of Soccer Operations Garth Lagerwey announcing the club has agreed to terms on a contract extension with goalkeeper Nick Rimando. With the one-year extension – for which financial terms will not be disclosed, per team policy – the two-time MLS Cup champion and 2009 MLS Cup MVP will remain with the Claret-and-Cobalt through the conclusion of the 2013 MLS campaign.
Rimando will be available for comment this morning following Real Salt Lake’s training session at the University of Utah’s Spence Eccles Field House (650 Guardsman Way). The practice, which will mark the club’s lone Utah-based session for the next two weeks, will start at 10:30 a.m. MT, with media availability set to follow at approximately 11:30 a.m.
“We are happy to have been able to reach an agreement with Nick to reward him for his stellar performance in goal,” said Lagerwey. “We continue to be an organization that puts our players first and treats them with respect. By choosing to keep our veteran core intact we are setting a goal that we will win championships this season.”
The 31-year-old netminder enjoyed the best season of his illustrious 11-year MLS career in 2010, a campaign that included his first ever MLS All-Star Game appearance, June’s MLS Player of the Month honor, a career- and League-high 14 shutouts and a career-best goals against average of 0.67, a mark that was the second lowest in League annals and smashed the previous mark of 0.77 set by Pat Onstad. Rimando was a key cog in RSL’s record-setting defense, as he posted the two longest shutout streaks for a goalkeeper in MLS during the season, the 568-minute (3rd all-time) and 511-minute (6th all-time) stretches contributing to the 3rd and 4th longest shutout runs for a team in MLS history. Rimando’s 2010 season marked a continuation of his stellar form in 2009, when his remarkable play and clutch shot-stopping led Real Salt Lake through the playoffs and to its first MLS Cup crown, in which he earned the MLS Cup MVP award and his second League championship ring in the process.
“We wanted to get this process over quickly, and a lot of credit goes to the RSL front office, Garth Lagerwey, and Jason Kreis for rewarding me with this new contract. This would not be possible without their help, and I think the mutual respect we all have for each other and the organization went a long way in getting a deal done,” said Rimando. “Now I can focus completely on the important things, and so it’s all eyes on CONCACAF. I don’t have to think about numbers or years, I just have to think about the Columbus Crew and ways to bring more trophies to our team and our fans.”
Rimando’s 2010 numbers contributed to his continued climb up the MLS career charts in nearly every meaningful goalkeeping statistic, as he now ranks tied for third in victories (107, tied with RSL alum Scott Garlick) and shutouts (74, tied with Vancouver’s Joe Cannon); fourth in games played (255), starts (255), and minutes played (23,103); sixth in saves (966); and ninth in goals against average (1.24). His numbers since joining Real Salt Lake prior to the 2007 season have been even more impressive, overcoming the team’s struggles during his first season in Utah to post a 41-37-32 record, 72.9 save percentage, 38 shutouts, and 1.12 GAA in 110 regular season appearances and starts – all of which place him atop RSL’s all-time charts in the categories.
Prior to coming to the Wasatch Front, Rimando won MLS Cup 2004 with D.C. United in the middle of his five-year stint at RFK Stadium (2002-06). The UCLA product would begin his professional career with two seasons with Miami Fusion FC from 2000-01, during which he – along with fellow netminders Lagerwey and RSL Assistant Coach Jeff Cassar – helped lead the South Florida side to the 2001 Supporters Shield and a berth in the 2000 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.
In addition to his League exploits, Rimando continues to remain on the U.S. Men’s National Team radar, his fifth “cap” for the Senior side on January 22 against Chile – in which he notched a shutout opening 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw at The Home Depot Center in his native Southern California – coming a decade and a half after he was a stalwart for the USA’s Under-17 side. Since making his full team debut in November 2002, Rimando has compiled a 2-0-0 record and 0.29 GAA in five international friendly contests (1 GA in 315 minutes played).
The contract extension for Rimando marks the latest move in a successful offseason for the Real Salt Lake Technical Staff, which either re-signed or traded for the attacking trio of Costa Rican international and 2010 MLS Newcomer of the Year Álvaro Saborío, El Salvadoran international and MLS veteran Arturo Alvarez, and exciting Brazilian striker Paulo Jr. before the calendar turned to 2011. Rimando is the second key player to sign an extension in the last three weeks, following in the footsteps of MF Will Johnson, who will don the Claret-and-Cobalt through 2014.
Fans can secure their seats now for both Real Salt Lake’s March 1 CONCACAF Quarterfinal Leg Two fixture against the Columbus Crew and its March 26 MLS home opener against the Los Angeles Galaxy via the “RSL 2011 2-Pack” (beginning at just $80) and the “RSL 2011 Flex 10-Pack” (beginning at $200). Both of these special ticket offers, in addition to single-game tickets for both matches and RSL 2011 Season Ticket Packages, can be purchased online at www.RealSaltLake.com, over the phone at 801-727-2700, or in person at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office during regular business hours: 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. MT.
TRANSACTION: Real Salt Lake extends contract of goalkeeper Nick Rimando through the end of the 2013 MLS season.