Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando shouldering a big load
By Aaron Falk
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Apr 30 2013 03:02PM
Sandy • With 30 saves in eight games this season, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando is tied for third-most in Major League Soccer, and is on pace to record his biggest save total since his first season with RSL.
That’s not necessarily a good thing.
"Thirty-plus chances on goal in eight games is way too much," the veteran said after training Tuesday.
The losses of center back Jamison Olave and midfielder Will Johnson this offseason combined with early-season injuries to back line starters Nat Borchers and Chris Wingert had RSL ready for some bumps.
"It’s something we were prepared for with the changeover," Rimando said. "We’re still trying to figure that out."
The goalkeeper, who has allowed seven goals this season, also attributed his increased workload to improved offensive play around Major League Soccer, as well as to team’s adjusting to RSL’s diamond midfield.
Right back Tony Beltran said the team’s defensive four has to be sharper and more focused.
"Really, that’s on us to just go out there and do the right things and go out there with the mentality that we need this zero and we’re not going to give anything up," Beltran said. "[Rimando is] such a beast in the back for us and he saves a lot of games. But I don’t want him to have 30 saves. I want him to have as few saves as possible and give him the least amount of work to do."
Coming off a 2-0 loss at Los Angeles, coach Jason Kreis had a somewhat different take.
"I wish he had 32," the RSL boss said.
Forward Alvaro Saborio is expected to miss "several weeks" with a strained quadricep. The Costa Rican injured himself last week during training and tried to play Saturday against the Galaxy before he was scratched from the team’s starting lineup.
Forwards Robbie Findley and Olmes Garcia are day to day with knee and adductor injuries, respectively.
Midfielder Enzo Martinez has been sent to the Carolina Railhawks of the North American Soccer League. After being drafted by RSL a year ago, Martinez has failed to make an appearance with RSL’s first team. The North Carolina product should see valuable minutes during the short-term loan.