Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando stood among the yellow training mannequins Tuesday, in discussion with goalkeepers coach Todd Hoffard as his training session wrapped up.
Rimando, despite feeling some discomfort in his adductor during Saturday’s 1-0 win against the Red Bulls, has participated in two light training sessions since logging a shutout in RSL’s third match of the season.
The veteran RSL goalkeeper kept his 138th clean sheet on Saturday, but with 26 shutouts between Rimando and the next goalkeeper on the all-time list (Kevin Hartman), each clean sheet only widens the gap between Rimando and the rest of the pack.
On Saturday against the Red Bulls, behind a back line missing two regular starters to injury, Rimando fought through some minor pain of his own.
“I felt a little tweak in my adductor early on in the first half when I kicked the ball and I just kind of noticed it a little more sensitive as the game went on,” Rimando said after the match.
RSL AT TORONTO FC
When • March 30, 6 p.m. MDT
TV • KMYU
Center back Justen Glad helped ease the strain on Rimando’s leg by taking some goal kicks, but Rimando’s net-minding duties didn’t suffer.
Even in the 53rd minute, after he had already made three saves — one diving to his left, one falling on a ball to his right, and one scooping up a shot at his feet — Rimando’s agility was on display.
He knocked away Tim Parker’s low header off a set piece, and then sprang back up, ready for the second chance.
It came almost immediately, when Alejandro Romero Gamarra sent a chip across the front of the goal. Rimando sprung off his line to collect the cross and toss the ball out to RSL winger Jefferson Savarino for the counterattack.
“He’s turning 39 this year … and does it matter?” former RSL defender Chris Wingert said after Saturday’s match, in which he was honored for his decade with the club. “He’s still playing lights out.”
Wingert and Rimando came to RSL in 2007 and went on to win an MLS Cup two years later.
“That first year in 2007 when we really weren’t that good, he was standing on his head each and every game,” Wingert said of Rimando. “It got to a point where I didn’t think he could impress me anymore. And he continues to do so. I think he’s clearly the MVP of that game [Saturday], and it just seems to happen week in and week out.”
Rusnák called up to Slovakia national team
Albert Rusnák left for Thailand Sunday to join the Slovakia national team for the King’s Cup. Slovakia is scheduled to play two matches, on March 22 and 25. Due to the international break this weekend, the RSL attacking midfielder is scheduled to return to his club team the Tuesday before its next match, at Toronto FC on March 30.
“We’re going to obviously assess right then and there how he’s feeling and base the rest of the week with him off of that,” RSL coach Mike Petke said.