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Official: RSL brings back Nick Rimando for 12th season

The veteran goalkeeper will continue in Salt Lake.

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes at Real Salt Lake Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

After long periods of speculation dating back over a year, the future of Real Salt Lake’s goalkeeper extraordinaire, the long-serving Nick Rimando, has been secured. In a club release today, Rimando’s return for his 12th season at the club was announced.

Rimando, 38, joined Real Salt Lake in 2007 after a trade from D.C. United.

In a club-issued press release, Rimando said he “couldn’t fathom leaving.”

“I couldn’t be happier continuing my career with Real. This is home and I couldn’t fathom leaving this club that means so much to me,” Rimando said. “I was here in the glory days and want to help bring this club back where it belongs. I’m excited to get the season started. We have the coaches, players and potential to do big things.”

RSL coach Mike Petke, who played with Rimando during his early years at D.C. United, said his leadership and experience was vital.

“He’s the best goalkeeper in the history of the league,” Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke said. “Playing with him in D.C. and winning a championship and seeing those special qualities – he has single-handedly embraced and took that position and become the best goalkeeper in our league’s history. I am extremely ecstatic to have him back. When you take his veteran leadership and his experience, for me it’s vital.”

RSL general manager Craig Waibel said keeping Rimando, particularly for his leadership, was part of the team’s 2018 plan.

“Keeping Nick Rimando with Real Salt Lake was an important part of our plans in building the 2018 team,” General Manager Craig Waibel said. “He brings leadership and consistent performance and understands what it means to wear the RSL badge on his chest.”