Grant Wahl published a little snippet today on SI.com claiming that a source indicated some interest from Atlanta United in snagging our beloved Nick Rimando.
“Sources say Atlanta United is interested in landing Rimando for the 2017 season. Rimando has one year left on a contract that pays him a guaranteed $420,000, making him the second-highest paid goalkeeper in the league behind Tim Howard. The big question is whether Salt Lake will protect Rimando and his big salary number ahead of the Dec. 13 expansion draft.”
In my opinion it’s a much more layered conversation than simply saying “ATL is interested in getting Nick.”
Let’s be clear, Grant has sources. This, however, should come as no surprise to anyone for a couple of reasons. The first of those being that Nick Rimando is a legend and, though MLS refuses to acknowledge it, one of the best keepers this league has seen. I’d be shocked if 21 teams weren't interested in Nick in one way or another. Nick has ties to ATL and their TD Carlos Bocanegra and rumors have made the rounds several times over the past few months that Boca might make an attempt to get a deal done.
These are not, however, the only rumors that have been passed around regarding Nick leaving us and breaking all of our hearts. Whispers have been heard about a potential move to LAFC thanks to it being in Nick’s home town and closer to his parents and family.
With a player of Nick’s caliber there are likely to be a lot of rumors flying about in an expansion year and as he nears the end of his contract. Nick has been with RSL for 10 years, has put down roots here, and seemingly loves living in Salt lake and playing at Rio Tinto in front of all us wackos.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when a move like this is discussed, questions to be asked from both the fan and club perspective. As fans of course we want a player like Nick to finish his career here, move into the coaching staff, and for his son to play in the academy and eventually become the first team keeper/goal scorer extraordinaire. Those things are the ideal and what RSL Family has morphed into over the past few years.
From the club perspective that may not be tenable or even the best thing for Nick long term. There are a lot of conversations to be had about the future of goal keeping at RSL with Jeff Attinella waiting in the wings and all the while Nick (though he is a legend) is getting older and is the second most expensive goalie in the league.
Like I said, It’s a much more layered conversation than simply saying “ATL is interested in getting Nick.” That said, this is the time of the year that we as fans should be prepared for these types of rumors and even actual moves. We need to get better in 2017 and everyone knows it. The question really becomes what cost are we willing to pay to get there.