RSL’s Petke, Rimando return to old stomping grounds at RFK

Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando clears the ball during the first half of a friendly soccer match against Manchester United Monday, July 17, 2017, in Sandy, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Washington • The last time Real Salt Lake coach Mike Petke roamed the halls of RFK Stadium as a player he was teammates with goalkeeper Nick Rimando. After a wacky weekend of wet weather, the two walked down the visitors tunnel of RFK Stadium for quite possible the last time as United prepare to move to their new home at Audi Field next year.

Real Salt Lake’s 1-0 victory over league-worst United marked the last time RSL will travel to RFK in the MLS regular season, and with United’s current position in the standings the possibility of a postseason return is not favorable.

Petke, who played for United from 2003 to 2005, and Rimando, who played for United from 2002 to 2006, won an MLS Cup together with United’s current head coach Ben Olsen in 2004. As the dried water stains told tales of Saturday’s game-delaying storm, Petke shared his thoughts on his time with United.

“I won a championship here,” Petke said. “Greatest feeling that I had here was watching Bara Brava and the rest of the supporters on the stands … just jumping up and down and the whole stands moving and how loud they were. This is one of the if not the best organization in the league’s history with the amount that they have one along with L.A.”

Rimando, who strapped up his boots for a shutout against his former team, shared pleasant memories of a place he once called home.

“It was nice to come back again,” Rimando said. “It is good to get back in D.C. because a lot of my life is here with playing for D.C. United.”

With sides switched, Rimando and Petke helped Real Salt Lake to its first-ever win at RFK Stadium. RSL is (1-7-3) in all competitions played at RFK Stadium. Surrounded by family and friends who made the short trip down from New Jersey, Petke weathered the storm but did not take too much time to admire the accomplishment.

“Perhaps in the offseason when I am sitting down I will think, ‘wow that was pretty cool,’” Petke said. “Right now, it is three points.”