Coach Jason Kreis believes goalkeeper Nick Rimando made a mistake charging off his line after a ball in the air in the dying minutes of stoppage time on Thursday night, on a play that led to the decisive penalty kick that doomed RSL to yet another loss in Texas.
But he's willing to absolve the veteran, in deference to all the good things he has done for the club.
"I think we need to be honest with ourselves and say that Nick Rimando made a mistake,” Kreis said after a devastating 1-0 loss at Houston. “He came out for a ball that he probably does [not] need to come out for. A player like that come probably makes one or two mistakes a year. He is holding his hands up in the locker room and on the field. He clearly knows he made a tactical judgment error but that is OK. He has saved us many points along the way so he will get a pass.”
With mere seconds remaining in the game, Rimando charged far off his line to challenge for the ball, but took out Houston's Mac Kandji in the process, forcing referee Ismail Elfath to make an easy call for the penalty.
Rimando already had stopped one penalty kick in the 75th minute to keep RSL in the game — he had another dazzling save just minutes later, too — but the Dynamo's Colin Clark fired the second one right down the middle while Rimando dove to his left.
Clark celebrated his winning strike by running past the goal, leaping over the field boards and in toward the locker room as if the game was over, though he had to come out again for the last few seconds before Elfath blew the final whistle.
Rimando expressed disappointment in the way it came out, but did not concede he made a mistake.
"It’s one of those games where you do what you think is right,” he said, according to the team's post-game quote sheet. “I don’t know if you call it a mistake. The ball is in the air, I’m coming in the air and not intending to hit Kandji, but it happens. He made a great run. We didn’t have any pressure on the ball and I committed. Once I committed, I had to go out. I didn’t want to get stuck in no-man’s-land. At the end of the day it’s a play I want to take back for sure and get these guys in the locker room a point back.”