Sandy • Nick Rimando was kept on his toes in a frenetic second half against Vancouver Whitecaps F.C. on Friday night.
The Real Salt Lake goalkeeper was tested early and often after the break, with a goal by Vancouver forward Darren Mattocks in the 52nd minute and 12 total shots compared to just one in the first 45 minutes.
The back line was pushed into a frenzy after Mattocks’ goal, but Rimando credited Alvaro Saborio’s second goal in the 58th minute as a point when the team settled down.
"Obviously we don’t want to go through that spell, but it happens and we got it together really quick and responded with a goal," Rimando said.
Real defender Nat Borchers said the experience of the back line and cohesion with Rimando is invaluable in helping the team through rough stretches like the few minutes after Vancouver’s goal.
"He’s obviously an incredible shot stopper when things break down," Borchers said. "It’s a great credit to him that we’ve been getting so many good defensive results."
Rimando described the match against Vancouver as "weird" because of the heat and slow start effecting play early on.
Real coach Jason Kreis said Rimando’s save against Vancouver forward Camilo Sanvezzo in the 71st minute kept the team in the game.
"He made the absolute critical stop that we needed him to make there in the second half," Kreis said.
The keeper, who is tied for first with the most saves in the western conference at eight, said despite letting in one goal Friday night, the team will continue to strive for clean sheets as much as possible.
"That’s just our motto here; every time we go in we always want to try to get a shutout," Rimando said. "We know if we play great defense, we get our offense from that."
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