During Friday's goalless draw against Seattle Sounders, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando took a hit to the face — incidental contact from Christian Tiffert, certainly — and in the process, suffered a broken nose and a significant cut on his face.
Following the injury, Rimando was down on the pitch for several minutes while he was treated by RSL medical staff — an act some Seattle fans took issue with, as boos and chants of "let him die" rained down from sections of the sellout crowd. Every time Rimando touched the ball, the chorus of boos continued.
In an interview on Monday with Bill Riley on ESPN700, RSL defender Nat Borchers said he was "disgusted" with the treatment of Rimando after his injury.
"I was disgusted, personally - I thought Seattle fans had more class than that," Borchers said. "He's not just down killing time. That was pretty apparent."
Despite his displeasure with the reaction, Borchers said he's hoping Real Salt Lake fans don't respond in kind.
"If you see their players taking dives, killing time, obviously that's a time to show your disappointment," he said. "But I think our fans are classier than Seattle's."
RSL coach Jason Kreis described Rimando's willingness to continue after suffering a broken face and a significant face cut - it required three stitches - as "brave."
"We thought he was going to have to come out," he said., " We thought it was going to be a laceration that they couldn't get the blood stopped, and if that's the case, then he has to come out. They did a good job getting the blood stopped and Nick continued on with a real brave effort."
In a post-match interview on Thursday, RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy praised Rimando's match-saving performance.
"Nick's a battler and there is no question that he is the best goalkeeper in the league in my eyes," Grabavoy said. "He's a pure shot stopper and just a guy that's won everywhere he's been. I can't say enough about Nicky, he's the man of the match tonight."
RSL captain Kyle Beckerman said he wasn't surprised by Rimando's performance.
"Nick is a big time player for us, and he's been one of the best goalkeepers in the league for years now," he said. "He does it year after year so people expect it, and tonight he had another game like he always has."
Kreis, too, was full of praise for the veteran goalkeeper.
"I think it will have to go down as one of the single best individual performances by any player that's ever worn an RSL jersey," he said.