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RSL notebook: Rimando returns to starting lineup against Portland

Published April 20, 2014 4:56 pm

Notes • RSL 'keeper returns after missing the past two games.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Sandy • "The Wall of the Wasatch" is back where he so often stands.

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando returned to the starting lineup Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium after missing the club's previous two matches with an injured left knee.

Rimando suffered a strained MCL in his left knee while away with the U.S. men's national team for an international friendly against Mexico on April 2 in Glendale, Ariz.

Backup Jeff Attinella manned the spot between the posts for RSL in Rimando's absence, helping the club earn back-to-back draws on the road at Sporting Kansas City and Philadelphia.

Rimando returned to training this week after going through rehabilitation and rest following undergoing an MRI to reveal the extent of the injury on April 3.

The 34-year-old said Thursday that his checkup with his doctors on Wednesday revealed his knee was stable and that the necessary progression had been reached for him to return to training.

"I think mentally more so it's about feeling good out there and not being soft on it and thinking about your knee when you should be making a save," Rimando said Thursday. "It's just about being in the moment and getting the injury out of your head."

Captain cracks Top 10

A known iron man around Major League Soccer, Kyle Beckerman's start Saturday night against Portland signaled another climb on the all-time games played list.

The 31-year-old midfielder moved into a tie with former teammate and RSL assistant coach Andy Williams to occupy 10th place on most regular-season games played with 332. Beckerman is also seventh in MLS history with 302 career regular-season starts.

The 16-year MLS veteran is two starts shy of taking over the sixth-place spot from retired midfielder Chris Henderson.

Turning the corner

Is Real Salt Lake ditching that injury bug? Looks like it. The club welcomed the return of forward Joao Plata, midfielder Luis Gil and Rimando to the game-day roster. Plata, on the bench against the Timbers, is available for the first time since March 22 when the 22-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in the RSL home opener against the L.A. Galaxy. Gil was also available off the bench after missing last week's match at Philadelphia with a leg injury. Robbie Findley, Rich Balchan and Cole Grossman missed Saturday's match against the Timbers with various injuries. RSL has had 14 players miss a total of 35 games, just seven games into the 2014 MLS season.