Maund Carries the Torch for RSL Center Backs

Aaron Maund made one of the greatest saves you’ll see from a defender on Saturday to keep Real Salt Lake in position to earn three points in a 1-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.  On Friday, he recapped the play that helped preserve RSL’s first shutout of the season when he appeared on The Bill Riley Show on ESPN 700.

“Whenever I see Nick (Rimando) go out – whether it’s for a situation like what happened the other day where the ball’s on the ground or when the ball is in the air – I just try to cover him and get in the goal.  I saw Gashi lining up the shot and I just tried to get my feet moving to get into a good spot and he ended up hitting it in a spot where I could get it,” Maund said.

With the match still scoreless at that point, it allowed Salt Lake to go into the half with an opportunity to take control of the game and by the final whistle, Joao Plata had given RSL the lead as the Claret-and-Cobalt extended its unbeaten streak to five matches to start the regular season.

The game was a big moment for a defense that had felt solid throughout the season, with mistakes on individual plays – and an errant penalty call – keeping RSL from earning more shutouts this season and not a deficiency in talent.

Even still, Maund hears the reports that the club is in search of an international center back.  In some ways, that has motivated him through the first months of his first season in which he started the year penciled in as the starting center back.

“It is the nature of the business.  It’s supposed to be the fuel and give you the motivation to not get complacent, keep pushing and forcing the issue and getting better,” he said.  “There’s definitely a lot of pressure on that position with the talk of new center backs.  All you can do is get in there and do your job and try to prove that the higher-ups that we’re set.  I think so far we’ve done a pretty decent job.  Obviously there is room to improve and lessons to learn, but I think so far we’ve been solid.”

Real Salt Lake takes on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday at 8 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium.  Tickets are available here.

To hear Maund’s full interview, click here.

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