Rimando sets record in Real win
Sandy • The chants started with a couple minutes to play.
"Nick Rimando! Nick Rimando!"
And when the last whistle was finally blown in a 3-0 win over D.C. United on Saturday, the Real Salt Lake goalkeeper stood at midfield, surrounded by his family, and alone at the top of Major League Soccer's all-time shutout list with 113 all-time.
"It feels good," Rimando said afterward. "To hear those fans out there scream my name with two minutes left got me a little nervous."
Rimando made two saves Saturday against the team that dealt him to Salt Lake.
And afterward he credited his teammates, a few by name, for helping him hold a piece of league history.
"This is not only my record. It's got my name on it but there are a lot of guys who need credit for it," Rimando said.
In this one, Rimando had plenty of help from his back line.
If there were questions about Real Salt Lake's back line coming into the night, Chris Schuler quieted them. The RSL defender scored his first goal of the season and then his second in a the win. Schuler scored in the 14th and 24th minutes, in a victory that pushed RSL to the top of the MLS standings for the time being.
The game started with a positive omen for RSL.
In the 11th minute, forward Joao Plata, the shortest man on the roster at just 5 feet, 2 inches, scored a rare header, directing a Luke Mulholland cross by D.C. keeper Bill Hamid.
Plata and RSL had barely finished celebrating at the corner flag when Schuler doubled the lead. Standing 6-foot-5, Schuler, the tallest player on the roster, showed some touch with his feet, taking Javier Morales' pass and turning it into a 2-0 advantage.
Morales would find Schuler again in the 24th minute, sending in a corner kick that Schuler headed into the back of the net.
The offensive onslaught was one RSL wished it could have provided in its last meeting with D.C. United. Last Oct. 1, D.C., then the worst club in Major League Soccer, stole the U.S. Open Cup trophy from RSL in a 1-0 title game.
But while Saturday's goals won't help there, they were crucial for RSL.
The win gave RSL 39 points on the season, enough to overtake Seattle for the top spot in the West. The Sounders sit at 38 points, but have played three fewer games than RSL.
RSL has now also matched Sporting Kansas City for the top spot in the league table.
Salt Lake's offensive breakout caused some frustrations for D.C. In the 30th minute, United forward Eddie Johnson was shown yellow after he kicked a dead ball at RSL defender Carlos Salcedo, as he lay on the ground.
United brought on former RSL striker Fabian Espindola in the 50th minute, but the forward couldn't reproduce any of the goal-scoring magic he showed often during six seasons at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Instead, RSL continued to threaten. In the 53rd minute, Olmes Garcia nearly pushed a diving header past Hamid, but the D.C. keeper dove for a finger-tip save.
Morales' two assists gave him nine on the season. But the midfielder looked to be in pain late in the game, when he sat on the grass as play continued and asked to be subbed off. In addition to scoring goals, the Real back line did its regular job, too. Missing full backs Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran because of yellow card accumulation, RSL's back four limited D.C. After an early misplay from Mansally, who sent a wild back pass that gave D.C. a corner kick, Salt Lake neutralized the D.C. threat. Rimando's first save didn't come until the 70th minute.
"It always takes commitment to get shutouts and the guys in front of me helped me out big time today," Rimando said.
Due to a production error, this story did not run in Sunday's paper.
RSL 3, DC United 0
United 0 0 0
RSL 3 0 3
First half Â» 1, Real Salt Lake, Plata 10 (Mulholland), 11th minute. 2, Real Salt Lake, Schuler 1 (Morales), 13th. 3, Real Salt Lake, Schuler 2 (Morales), 24th. Second half Â» None. Goalies Â» D.C. United, Bill Hamid Real Salt Lake, Nick Rimando. Yellow CardsJeffrey, D.C. United, 5th Johnson, D.C. United, 30th Mansally, Real Salt Lake, 85th. RefereeDaniel Radford. Assistant RefereesBill Dittmar. Paul Scott. 4th OfficialAllen Chapman. Attendance Â» 20,452 (20,008)
D.C. UnitedBill Hamid, Steve Birnbaum, Chris Korb, Bobby Boswell, Sean Franklin, Chris Rolfe (Lewis Neal, 69th), Davy Arnaud, Jared Jeffrey, Luis Silva (Fabian Espindola, 49th), Nick DeLeon (David Estrada, 77th), Eddie Johnson.
Real Salt LakeNick Rimando, Abdoulie Mansally, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Schuler, Nat Borchers, Luke Mulholland, Javier Morales (Luis Gil, 68th), Ned Grabavoy (Sebastian Velasquez, 88th), Kyle Beckerman, Olmes Garcia, Joao Plata (Robbie Findley, 65th).