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Soccer: Goalkeeper Nick Rimando at his best in Real Salt Lake victory

Published September 1, 2012 11:50 pm

MLS • He earns 97th career shutout.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • Nick Rimando was credited with four saves as Real Salt Lake shut out D.C. United 1-0 Saturday night.

It seemed more as Rimando defeated his old team, one with which he captured his first MLS Cup. It was also Rimando's 61st shutout with RSL and 97th overall.

"It's great to play them," he said. "A lot of memories there. … A lot of respect for those guys. They came in and really gave us a tough game."

It was a game delayed nearly an hour and a half by lightning that illuminated the darkening skies blanketing Rio Tinto Stadium.

Although the RSL goalkeeper downplayed the effect of wind and rain on play — "I've been in worse" — there was no downplaying how well the 33-year-old veteran performed in the face of an aggressive United attack.

"It was a big game for all of us," Rimando said. "We really had to be sharp and bring a lot of energy to get the three points. We made some big stops tonight. And credit to, I think, getting a couple days more rest and having the legs back and having that extra effort on the defensive side."

In the first half, especially, United found space for its four attacking players behind the RSL midfield. Dwayne De Rosario hit the post midway through the half and Chris Pontius found himself twice one-on-one with Rimando inside the 18-yard box and shot wide each time.

Rimando's presence may have influenced those misses, too.

"Rimando's performance was outstanding again tonight," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "He obviously made some critical saves for us tonight … a few too many times for my comfort. We weren't quite sharp enough back there."

Sometimes, it was something as subtle as controlling a back pass. He was able to control difficult chances with defenders in his area that, had he botched the play, may have led to goals.

"He's been one of the best in the league for years now," RSL midfielder Kyle Beckerman said. "That's what we expect from him."

martyr@sltrib.com

Twitter:@rsltribune —

He's a keeper

• Nick Rimando earns his 61st shutout with Real Salt Lake on Saturday against his former team, D.C. United.

• RSL defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe has now played more minutes in MLS play since joining RSL on June 27 (738) than he had in his whole 21/2 year professional career prior to joining RSL (681 minutes).