Nick Rimando joins RSL Academy coaching staff

Legendary goalkeeper retired at the end of 2019 from professional soccer after 13 years with RSL.

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando records a save in MLS action between Real Salt Lake and the Houston Dynamo at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. Rimando will join the coaching staff of the RSL Academy, the club announced Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

When Nick Rimando retired from professional soccer, he planned to travel, go to concerts and spend more time with his family. The COVID-19 pandemic stalled those plans, and he discovered how much he missed soccer.

So he got into coaching. First with the annual goalkeeping camp through the RSL Youth Development Academy, then giving private lessons to young goalkeepers.

Now the goalkeeping legend will join the organization from which he retired just two years ago and start his coaching career in earnest.

Rimando will join the coaching staff of the RSL Academy, the club announced Wednesday. He will serve as the team’s goalkeeping coach and official club ambassador. The latter role will have Rimando participating in community outreach, ticketing initiatives and partnerships during the 2021 season.

“Every player has their own journey, and I am looking forward to using my experience to guide and help them reach their goals,” Rimando said in a news release. “RSL has been a big part of my life on and off the field.

“After taking some time off and seeing the direction of the club, I’m thrilled to join RSL in an ambassador role. I’m excited to bring that buzz back to RSL Nation and to connect with our fans and build a strong relationship with all of our communities.”

Rimando’s on-field role will consist of working in collaboration with coaching and technical staffs from the RSL Academy, Real Monarchs and RSL. He’ll report directly to RSL Academy Director of Coaching Arnold Rijsenburg, who joined the organization in November of 2019.

Rimando was already being courted by former teammate Kyle Beckerman to join Utah Valley University’s coaching staff. Beckerman was recently named head coach of the Wolverines.

“The name Nick Rimando is synonymous with Real Salt Lake, and now, our academy boys will have the opportunity to learn from one of Major League Soccer’s greatest players,” RSL assistant general manager Tony Beltran said in a news release. “Both on the field and beyond, we look forward to all future collaboration with Nick, as we together strive to lead and inspire the soccer culture in Utah.”

Rimando holds the Major League Soccer record in games played, wins, saves and shutouts. He spent 13 years with RSL and won an MLS Cup in 2009.

Before that time, he played with D.C. United and the now-defunct Miami Fusion. He also won an MLS Cup with D.C. United.

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