In last night’s game, Real Salt Lake should have walked away with 3 points, but they were reduced to 9 men with red cards to Jamison Olave and Kyle Beckerman. Being on the defensive foot for 60 plus minutes, RSL was able to hold Portland’s relentless attack. While all of the players that stayed on the field deserve the recognition, the one that played the best game last night was Nick Rimando.
Even though Rimamdo’s record of over 400 minutes in Providence Park without conceding a goal ended, the Wall of the Wasatch played a sensational game. While some of the credit goes to RSL’s defense for alleviating the pressure, Nick Rimando came up with some great saves to preserve a point on the road. He also was great coming off his line and contesting for balls off corner kicks. He was able to punch away some of the chances that were sent into the box, while other chances he was able to secure the ball and come down with it.
His reaction saves are second to none in MLS. He was able to make a huge left hand save in the closing minutes of the game. With the goal scored in the 79th minutes, there was nothing that Rimando could have done to have positioned himself better to save that ball. He had tried to push a shot pass the cross bar from when it bounced off and then landed at the feet of Fenando Adi.
Rimando does have the MLS’s best record for the most PK saves, but last night was just not their night. The game seemed to be a one-sided affair when it came to officiating, and RSL survived by the skin of their teeth. With the most recent signing of Tim Howard to the Colorado Rapids, many will say that he is the best goalkeeper in MLS history but there should be no comparison. The Wall of the Wasatch, Nick Rimando, helped preserve the game for RSL and is MLS’s best goalkeeper of all time.