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2016 Player Profiles, #8: Nick Rimando

RSL’s longest tenured player, Nick Rimando — the Wall of the Wasatch — finished another strong season for the club.

MLS: Chicago Fire at Real Salt Lake Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

In a trade concluding the 2006 MLS season, Real Salt Lake acquired child-phenom Freddy Adu with Nick Rimando as a complementary piece. Little did everyone know that Rimando would go on to become the all-time winningest goalkeeper in league history with Real, while Adu would only make a handful of appearances before transferring to SL Benfica.

A lot has happened since then.

Between leading the MLS in saves on his debut season with RSL in 2007, to breaking Kevin Hartman’s all-time wins record in 2016 with an MLS Cup in between, Rimando has established himself as a local legend being the “Wall of the Wasatch” for the past decade.

Rimando made 30 starts in 2016, the most he’s made since 2012. With no signs of slowing down, Rimando still has a big part to play at Rio Tinto Stadium. As he prepares for his 11th season with Real Salt Lake, the biggest challenge of his career may be upcoming in 2017. Despite all the historic individual accolades, Rimando still chases an elusive MLS goalkeeper of the year award and the record to be the all-time saves leader.

The Claret-and-Cobalt are undergoing a makeover with lots of uncertainty about how the squad will look at the start of the quickly approaching season. With Maund still unsigned and Olave’s departure, RSL will need Rimando’s leadership at the back. Rimando is the longest tenured player for the Claret-and-Cobalt and will look to guide the team with his experience as one of the few familiar faces.